As temperatures in Oregon rise, it’s the perfect time of year to explore the trails and views around the state. Hike to a beautiful scenic waterfall, or take a trail to a monument or landmark. The Clackamas Print reviewed five Oregon hikes to try help you find an adventure. Or at least a break from school, studying and Snapchat.
This hike comes with a bonus, as it begins and ends at Portland’s famous Pittock Mansion. Walk around the grounds and enjoy the panoramic city and mountain views for free. There’s an admission fee to enter the mansion.
Find Pittock Trailhead in the corner of the parking lot, where the grounds back up to Forest Park. With more than 80 miles of trails at your feet, the hiking possibilities are limitless. But the trailhead sign off ers two possibilities of worthwhile hiking routes.
Tuck your sunglasses away as you step foot on this well-beaten, shaded path with only sprinkles of sunlight sifted
through the tall evergreens. This peaceful hike begins with a descent through the forest, where you’ll notice old stumps and sprouting hemlocks. While somewhat uneventful, this short hike is perfect for almost everyone, including trail runners and families as long as you don’t mind the hike back uphill.
The second hike begins with the same descent into the forest, but veers left on Wildwood Trail. Water trickling over the trail hints at what’s ahead. After crossing over Cornell Road, (a small reminder that you’re still in the city), suddenly the calming sound of rushing water will hasten your step. Soon you’ll hit Balch Creek, small waterfalls and wooden bridges. Continue along the creek to the Stone House, a WPA-era restroom, now covered in graffi ti. The trail goes on for 78 more miles, but for this hike, it’s time to turn around. The second half of the hike takes you back the way you came, and includes some fairly steep climbs. Just remember, your mansion awaits you.
Good for beginners, with additional creepy-cool vibes, the Witches Castle hike in Forest Park is great for after-work jogs, family walks or fun photo shoots. Pet friendly with many restaurants nearby on Northwest 23rd Avenue, this hike is perfect for a quick breath of fresh air.
Located about 35 minutes away from campus, a quick Google search will take you directly to a parking lot and entrance and a porta potty if needed. Friday at 5 p.m. with a friend and an adorable puppy, we ventured out to the graffi ti covered castle; there was plenty of greenery and even a small stream. Along the short jaunt to the “haunted” castle, the pathway was rocky and slippery when wet, defi nitely prepare beforehand and wear non-slick shoes; there is also a small bridge to cross. During this Northwest Portland hike you’ll be sure to see runners, couples, dog-walkers, and in our instance an engagement shoot.
Kristen Wohlers & Alexis Wagar
If you’re looking for a nice peaceful place to hike to that isn’t too difficult, than this is the place for you.
Abiqua Falls is a very impressive waterfall hidden just above the foothills above the small town of Scotts Mills, about 30 minutes away from the Oregon City campus. The hike is short but definitely worth it. The length of the hike depends mostly on what car you drive, because the gravel road just before the trail is steep, washed out and not suitable for low clearance cars.
The falls can be seen at the end of the trail after going down a steep marked path to the creek. The falls drop down about 100 feet into a giant pool, which is perfect for a nice swim on a warm day. The drive up is fairly easy, and it’s about a 45 minute drive from the CCC campus.
Overall, this spot is perfect for a quick and peaceful afternoon hike. Make sure to bring comfortable hiking shoes for the steep inclines down to the falls, and also bring a bathing suit in case you want to jump in the cool and refreshing water.
By James Harley
CAPE LOOKOUT TRAIL
This wonderful scenic hike has many options along the way. With a total of three different trails to choose from, Cape Trail is the most popular of the three total trails located 20 minutes southwest of Tillamook via highway 131 west.
While on the trail you will pass through a coastal rainforest full of western hemlock, western red cedar and evergreen huckleberry. There will most likely be a few sections of mud, even in the late parts of summer. Once you are a half mile into the hike, you will see a commemorative plaque of a WWII Air Force plane that crashed into the side of the cape with 10 crew members inside. Along the way you will have several viewpoints to both the north and the south.
To the north you will see Netarts Bay as well as the Three Arch Rocks. If you look down you will be able to see Well’s Cove. Several times on the hike you will be able see an aerial view of the ocean as well as Pacifi c City and Cape Kiwanda. The best viewpoint is at the end of the trail, 2.4 miles out. You can also see the beach that the south trail eventually leads too. Every now and then you will be able to see humpback whales if the season is right.
The best time to go on this hike is on a nice sunny warm day in the late spring and summer, as the views aren’t as great on a cloudy day. This day hike is a must do on the great Oregon Coast.
By Travis David V Whittaker
About an hour east of Salem off of Highway 22, Opal Creek is a beautiful hidden gem about two hours southeast from Clackamas Community College. The hike is easy with a nice, level, gravel path that leads the way through the 10.5 mile loop. There are many swimming holes along the trail to stop and take a dip, the fi rst is about three miles from the
trailhead. The water is extremely cold all year round but it is refreshing in the summer heat.
One of the swimming holes is especially popular because it has a “natural slide” made out of a log that goes into the water. This swimming hole is about halfway through the loop. To avoid the crowds, there are other great places to swim along the trail that are just as fun and beautiful. If swimming isn’t your forte, the pools are still gorgeous to stop and look at during your visit.
Definitely make sure to bring plenty of food and water because it will be a while before you make it back to civilization. The closest place to get food was about an hour away in Stayton. Also keep in mind that there is a $5 fee per car. Although it is a far drive and there is a fee, this hike is definitely worth the effort.
By Megan McCoy
TRAIL OF TEN FALLS
Silver Falls State Park is a well known spot in an area of Oregon filled with many amazing hikes, a little east of Salem.
The park is a great area to spend the day with the family, plan a big event such as a family reunion or wedding, or even just camp for the weekend. However, most the people that visit the park don’t see more than the South Falls, which is closest to the main parking area.
The Trail of Ten Falls is a long but amazing hike filled with some of the best waterfalls in the state. Including the main South Falls, there are a total of four falls that the trail goes behind. All of the falls are unique in their own features, so the trail never gets boring and stays adventurous.
Out of all the seasons, the best time to go is in spring, when there is the most water fl owing through the creeks. However, the trail itself is best during the summer when the sun is out and the path is dry with no puddles.
The trail is perfect for anybody who enjoys day hikes. For people that like going on adventures, hiking the full loop is a “must go.” Out of all the hikes in the area, this is definitely near the top of the list due to all the beautiful falls.
By James Harley