The history of Southern Oregon is defined, in large part, by the search for gold. Here, the principal form of mining was hydraulic, where copious amounts of water were used to wash a water-sediment slurry through sluice boxes to capture the gold. All this water was usually conveyed to the mines via ditches, with a berm on one side along which ran a trail for the ditch tender. The best known, and most popular of these ditches for running and biking, is the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail near Jacksonville, Oregon. A lesser known one of these ditches, despite being on the National Register of Historic Places, is the Osgood Ditch in Northern California, which was used to convey water to mines in Southern Oregon.
The Osgood is (or was) 10.1 miles long but the Osgood Ditch Trail (USFS #1276) only follows 1.6 miles of the remnant ditch between Forest Road 4904-011 and the East Fork Illinois River Trail #1274. While the ditch itself has suffered from the harsh winters in the very steep and rugged terrain it traverses (it's in much worse shape than the Sterling Mine Ditch), it is a very pleasant way to cross steep slopes through Port Orford cedars, pine, fir and chinquapin, and an understory of oaks.
Flora & Fauna
There are minimal amounts of poison oak along this trail, but expect a few ticks in late spring through summer.