Who Newt ... ?  LbNA # 39830

Placed DateMay 16 2008
LocationElsie, OR
Found By (hidden)
Hike Distance?

As of 6/10/2009 the trail to the lake is still subject to selective logging operations, industrious people will find alternatives to reach the lake and the family friendly hike around it...will update as I know more.

WHO NEWT .... ?

'Any hike with water and newts is superior !' --green armyman


What's in a name ?

Taricha granulosa is the latin name for rough-skinned newts.
There are 2 subspecies : granulosa ( rough-skinned newt ) and
mazama ( Crater Lake or mazama newt ).

Are they really poisonous ?

1/13th of the nerve toxin found in an adult newt's skin is
enough to seriously harm a healthy human adult.

Nerve toxin what ?

Tetrodotoxin ( aka newt slime ) interferes with the flow of
sodium ions in nerve cells which can cause paralysis and

Are they safe to touch ?

Tetrodotoxin has to be ingested or introduced via an open
wound ( cut, sore, etc ) to take effect, so it is safe to
handle newts as long as proper precautions are taken. Be
sure to wash hands thoroughly after contact and make sure
adults supervise younger letterboxer's greetings with the
newts. I am living proof that you can hold, admire, pet,
etc, newts and live to tell the tale.

Parents ?

I played with newts throughout my youth without having a
clue of the toxins present and survived to enjoy
seeing my little orange-bellied friends. In fact, I never
knew newts were poisonous until I became an adult. Which
almost makes one wonder why I was never warned as a child.....


Follow highway 26 westward toward the coast. Turn south ( left ) on
highway 53 and travel roughly 4.5 miles to a gravel road to the east
( left ). There should be a sign there, but evidently aliens abduct
it or knock it down occasionally. Follow the gravel road across a
bridge to the posted trailhead ( it's on the left - you can't miss the
trailhead board at a wide point in the road for parking ).


The forest service map floating around says this hike is 1.5 miles ( each way ),
with an additional mile for the loop around the lake. Plan on fording
a small stream ( no bridge yet - was mid calf deep in May ) near the
historic site of the original Lindgren Cabin site ( the cabin is well
worth the trip to visit at Cullaby Lake Park ). A nice, family-friendly
hike ( Mrs. Armyman and Junior Armyman ( age 4 ) made it with little to
no grumbling ).


When you reach the loop-hike around the lake, head counter-clockwise.
After you come to water-crossing at the bottom of the stairs, take a
compass reading of 150 degrees and head in that direction. At the top
of the ten-tiered obstacle, take 39 armyman-size paces ( or 50 Mrs.
Armyman sized paces ) to a 'V' shaped tree on the right with a root
across the path. Check for newts at belly-height in the v of the tree
covered in a blanket of moss.