Aufderheide Drive is reached from the Eugene-Springfield area either by traveling the McKenzie Highway (Hwy. 126) to a point 3.5 miles above Blue River or by traveling Highway 58 and then turning north to Westfir. The road travels along the South Fork of the McKenzie River and the North Fork of the Willamette River and through Box Canyon.
Aufderheide Drive was named after Robert Aufderheide, the Willamette National Forest Supervisor from 1954 until his death in 1959. (More on Robert Aufderheide below.) Previously it was know as Forest Road 19 and sometimes called the “Box Canyon Road”, is a popular 145 mile loop from the Eugene-Springfield area.
The highway consists of paved roads which carve a path through scenic forests, the historic logging community of Westfir, the Constitution Grove, Box Canyon Guard Station, the Aufderheide Memorial, Cougar Reservoir and the McKenzie Highway.
This loop follows the Middle and North Forks of the Willamette River, up Box Canyon and down the South Fork and main fork of the McKenzie River. A number of interpretive signs are located along the Aufderheide Memorial Drive for your enjoyment. Large signs explain the drive as one enters Forest Service lands outside of Westfir .
Weather on bike or by car – Aufderheide (Hwy 19) is said to be one of Oregon’s most beautiful drives. Numerous spots along the route are suitable for picnicking, sightseeing. and fishing. Signs along the route point out shelterwood cuttings, reforested clear-cut areas, results of a wildfire, railroad timber harvesting along the North Fork in the 1940’s and other forest management projects.
A log cabin replica of the old Box Canyon guard station stands near the summit of the drive, near a roadside monument and plaque erected in Aufderheide’s memory. This is also the location of the Box Canyon Horse Camp. The horse camp provides 13 campsites which allow horse and rider to camp close together. These sites include nine single units and two double units. Associated with the campsites are 26 corrals.
There are several scenic trails in this area that access both roadless and wilderness areas. These include Chucksney Mountain trail, Grasshopper trail, and Crossing Way trail.
During his career, Aufderheide was instrumental in helping the Forest Service complete the transition from custodial management to professional intensive forest management under multiple-use principles. “Bob was an influential leader of forest managers during this important time in National Forest history,” said Sirmon.
“Bob embodied and practice multiple-use during an important growth stage of Willamette National Forest history,” said Mike Kerrick, the present Forest Supervisor. “He was a dynamic leader in forest management who made significant contributions to this state during his 25-year career.
Aufderheide Drive was named after and dedicated to the memory of Robert Aufderheide who was Willamette National Forest Supervisor from 1954 until his death in 1959.