Known more as a hiking, horseback riding or mountain bike trail, the North Umpqua Trail, east of Roseburg, is starting to draw quite a few nature-loving runners.

It could be the generally gentle terrain of smooth pine duff in the cool shadows of Douglas fir, lodgepole pine and Western hemlock, although there are a few segments that track over some rocky spots.

The entire trail runs 79 miles, beginning 22 miles east of Roseburg and ending not far west of Diamond Lake at Kelsay Valley trailhead.

Runners can choose from a number of access points, giving them the option of determining how far they want to run.

Most of the trail is open, with the biggest exceptions being a 200-foot-stretch of the 13-mile Dread and Terror segment that Umpqua National Forest officials say is impassible because of high water; and the Calf segment that was severely damaged in last year's Apple fire.

A downloadable trail brochure is available from the Umpqua National Forest Web site, www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua. An interactive version is posted by BLM at www.blm.gov/or/districts/roseburg/recreation/umpquatrails, which summarizes extensive trail information, including a difficulty rating of each segment. For the latest information, contact the North Umpqua Ranger District, 541-496-3532.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.