Scaredman Recreation Site is a Bureau of Land Management property located in the State of Oregon. Scaredman got its name from early hunters in the region who were intimidated by the large wolf population that existed in the area. Now the wolves are gone, so there is no reason to be frightened of things that go bump in the night while camping in this wilderness region! The Sacredman Recreation Site sits at an elevation of 1360 feet along a creek and numerous rivers, waterfalls, and forests can be found in the surrounding region.
The recreation site is quite remote, with limited services, and heavily wooded areas. The site boasts a small, newly renovated campground and day-use area, that is located on Canton Creek. Visitors camping in the area enjoy swimming at several sites along Canton Creek, mountain biking and hiking on nearby trails, local wildlife, and scenery, as well as fishing and hunting in the area. Fishing at the site on Canyon Creek is not available. However, visitors can enjoy fishing on the North Umpqua River, just 3.5 miles downstream, and the campground is popular with wildlife lovers and hunters during hunting season.
While camping in the area, be sure to visit nearby national forests to take in all these wilderness areas have to offer. Umpqua National Forest is located to the south and east, Deschutes National Forest is located to the northeast, and Willamette National Forest is situated to the north.
To reach the Scaredman Recreation Site, drive east on Highway 138, then head north on the Steamboat Creek Road. Proceed half a mile, then turn north again on the Canton Creek Road. Continue for three miles to the recreation site. The U.S. Forest Service’s Canton Creek Recreation Site is also located on the Canton Creek Road.
Canton Creek Road has some steep elevation changes and curves and winds around the heavily forested terrain. The route also has several bridge crossings. Large RVs and tow trailers may not find the access ideal. Access roads are dirt-surfaced and subject to weather conditions. It can be muddy in wet weather and overhanging vegetation and narrow bridges can be challenging when traveling with larger recreational vehicles. There are turnouts along the route that provide views of the creek.
During the winter when heavy snowfall occurs, backroads can become impassable and highway conditions can be icy. Winter tires provide more control in deep snow and when there is less traction on paved routes due to slippery conditions. Check road conditions before traveling in winter, slow down, and leave more room for stopping and turning.
Amenities and services in the area can be reached at Glide and Idleyld Park,Oregon which are about 16 miles away from the recreation site.
The Scaredman Recreation Site has a primitive overnight campground and day-use area. The day-use is free, and overnight camping is available for a minimal fee on a first come first serve basis.
There are nine sites at the campground, in a secluded, heavily wooded setting along the Canton Creek. The campground has been recently renovated and sites have fire rings and picnic tables to accommodate up to eight people per site. A popular swimming hole is only about a quarter-mile from the campground and can be accessed from the campground.
You cannot fish at the creek here, but fishing at the Umpqua River downstream is open and accessible from the campground on area backroads. The campground is open all year, but only has water and pit toilets available in the peak season, usually from May to October, depending on weather conditions. Amenities include firewood sales, a camp host, drinking water supplies, vault toilets, and garbage service. There are no RV hookups, RV dump stations or shower facilities at the campground. Pets are permitted but must be kept leashed.
The drainages in the area, along with Canton Creek, are sometimes closed for fishing to protect native fish populations. However, just 3.5 miles downstream at the North Umpqua River, angling and fishing activities are open.
Steelhead trout and salmon can be found in the river, and are available for catch. Heavily forested terrain along the river and creeks in the region keep the water cooler which increases fish activity. You will require a state of Oregon fishing license to fish on the river surface or from the bank.
Canton Creek is known for its clean, sparkling water and lovely sheltered pools that are ideal for swimming. The less adventurous can roll up their pant legs and wade into the emerald green waters here. Swim shoes are a good idea to protect your feet from rocky surfaces in the creek bed.
Be aware that creeks have steadily running water, so find a sheltered spot where the current is not too strong to enjoy some water activity. Keep children within arm's reach. Life preservers are a good idea for kids or those who are not strong swimmers. There is no lifeguard on duty at swimming spots along the creek.
The North Umpqua River that is fed downstream by the Canton Creek is a popular draw for whitewater rafters in the region. This river has everything from Class I to Class IV rapids and is considered to be a Wild and Scenic River.
The section between Builder Flat and Horseshoe is considered easy, the Horseshoe to Gravel Bin section is more difficult, and the Susan Creek to Gable Crossing is mid-range, with some Class III rapids. Outfitters in the area can provide equipment and guidance.
Highway 138 from Roseburg follows the North Umpqua River east to the turnoff for the Scaredman Recreation Site. This section of the highway is part of the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway that then extends south along the Rogue River. The entire route is 172 miles long and travelers on this route will enjoy the scenic wilderness, waterfalls, national forests and parks, and recreation sites along the way. This is a great trip to take when the weather is cooler and not amenable to outdoor activities.
Looking to explore the wilderness area on foot? Plenty of great hiking trails await you near the Scaredman Recreation Site. The Falls Creek Trail is just a short distance to the west. This is a 1.1 mile out and back trail with a waterfall that is appropriate for all skill levels.
The North Umpqua Trail System is just a short distance south and has 12 main trailheads with hikes rated from easy to difficult. Some trails here are as short as 3.5 miles, while others are as long as 15.7 miles. Trails interconnect and branch off so you can combine paths to create longer hikes, and even engage in primitive camping along the way. Watch out for cyclists and equestrians that also use the trails.
During the fall, when temperatures are cooler, aspen trees in the area change colors, and insect activity is less prevalent, so hiking conditions are ideal.
Enjoy snow sports during the winter, in designated areas and trails in Umpqua National Forest to the south and east of the Scaredman Recreation Site. The Three Lakes Sno-Park is only 50 miles away and features downhill skiing and snowboarding, groomed cross country ski trails, snowshoe trails, and recreational snowmobiling areas.
Hemlock Butte Trail, Mount Bailey Trail, and Silent Creek Trail are some of the most popular trails here and range from two to five miles in length. Dress for sub-freezing weather and ensure you have adequate supplies when heading out on winter trails.