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What are some easy, dog-friendly trail hikes?

Mt. Pisgah in Eugene is a great place to take dogs and go hiking. For an easier hike, look for the arboretum trails. If the weather is right there are some creeks in the parking area that a dog could play in.

Tryon Creek Trail near Portland is dog-friendly and just friendly, in general.

Wahclella Falls near the Columbia River Gorge is an easy waterfall hike that is dog-friendly.

The coast is very dog-friendly with lots of hikes and even yurts that pets can stay in with you.

Cape Lookout South Trail near Tillamook is a great example of the Oregon Coast’s wide array of dog-friendly hiking trails.

Cape Perpetua’s Giant Spruce Trail: This trail is one of my favorites on the coast.

Eagle Cap Wilderness: Hurricane Creek near Joseph is a dog-friendly hike in the northeast of Oregon.

This book is a really good reference for hikes with dogs: http://www.mountaineersbooks.org/Best-Hikes-with-Dogs-Oregon-2nd-Edition-P705.aspx

I hope this helps! Happy travels!

What are the top 20 hikes in Oregon?

This is a tough question because there are so many “top” hikes.  I decided to answer this with the 20 best hikes based on what they are best for.  Check out this story to see my Top 20 Oregon Hikes.

Happy Travels!

Answered by Cari Soong, Ask Oregon Outdoor Adventure Expert on February 28th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Where can I get information on backpacking and camping at Waldo Lake?

Thanks for the question!  Waldo Lake is a true Oregon gem.  The Willamette National Forest does an excellent job maintaining the webpages for this area (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recarea/?recid=4528).  Their interactive map will give you the overview.  Shadow Bay, Islet, and North Waldo are developed campgrounds with pit toilets and drinking water.  There really aren’t bad places to camp around this lake, it’s all very natural, quiet, and close to the water.  I’m sure you are aware that mosquitoes are quite prevalent in early summer.  Late July is a great month to camp and enjoy the clarity of the water.

There are numerous trails in the Waldo Lake Wilderness, including the Pacific Crest Trail on the east side of the lake.  Trails to Bobby Lake, Betty Lake and Fuji Mountain are some of the favorites in the area.  A great local resource in Oakridge is the Willamette Mountain Mercantile.  The local staff hikes, bikes, and camps in the area and all are very knowledgeable about trails and conditions.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any other questions I can answer.

Happy Travels!

Answered by Cari Soong, Ask Oregon Outdoor Adventure Expert on February 19th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

What are the best places for easy trail hikes that are not too close to the city?

Thanks for the great question.  I am the Ask Oregon expert on outdoor recreation and the Assistant Manager of the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure Center, and these are my recommendations for easy hikes in Oregon away from the city.  Since Oregon is so rich in variety, I’ve included hike suggestions for northern Oregon, central Oregon to the coast, and southern Oregon as a sort of sampler platter into what the state has to offer.  I assume that by easy you mean, easy to find, well-maintained and signed, and good for hikers of all skill levels from kids to seniors.

To the east of Portland you can find endless options for easy hikes.  One of my favorites is the Eagle Creek Trail where you will pass half a dozen waterfalls like picturesque Punchbowl Falls (4.2 miles roundtrip). From Punchbowl Falls you can keep on hiking, but it will get steeper as you go, around the six-mile mark you will come across Tunnel Falls, a 120 foot waterfall that has a tunnel built through it.  If you feel up for the longer hike and elevation gain, it’s well worth the effort.

Southeast of Eagle Creek, on the other side of Mt Hood, is another great hike (3 miles round trip) that leads to Bagby Hot Springs.  The trail follows along the Collawash River through an old-growth forest of douglas firs and cedars.  This is a great hike for viewing wildflowers in the spring and rich fall colors in October and November.  You can reward yourself with a soak in the rustic hot springs bath house where the tubs are carved out of cedar logs, but be aware, swimsuits are rare.

The first two hikes can be crowded when the weather is nice.  If you want to get away from the crowds, go to the Mount Jefferson Wilderness and Canyon Creek Meadows (4.5 miles to the lower meadow).  This is one of the best easy hikes to high cascades wildflower meadows.  Blue lupine and red paintbrush peak at the end of July.  This trail leads you to a scenic viewpoint of Three Fingered Jack (7.5 miles round trip).  On the way back to the trailhead you will pass beaver ponds and waterfalls.

Central Oregon offers hikes of a different color – reddish brown.  There are tons of great easy hikes away from the city in the central portion of the state.  I am always amazed with the beauty around Smith Rock State Park.  The trails around the park are relatively easy.  Don’t worry though, If you get tired, there are many benches along the way to rest your legs and while you’re resting look up at the rocky cliffs and you’re almost guaranteed to see thrill-seeking rock-climbers defying gravity, Smith Rock is a world renowned climbing destination.

The McKenzie River National Recreation Trail is an all-season favorite of mine.  Stretching 26.2 miles from Clear Lake to McKenzie Bridge, you can find a number of easy hikes along the way.  Sahalie & Koosah Falls are two spectacular waterfalls about half a mile apart.  You can park at either Sahalie Falls or Koosah Falls’ convenient trailheads right off Highway 126 and hike in a loop between the two falls (approximately 2.6 miles).  Continue west on highway 126 and take the turn-off for Trailbridge Reservoir.  From here, follow the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail 1.5 miles to Tamolitch Falls.  Old lava flows have shaped the landscape of the McKenzie River Valley and part of the river flows underground only to re-emerge at Tamolitch Falls.  It’s brilliant blue water will amaze you and beg you to linger before hiking back to your car.

If you continue west on Highway 126 you will reach the Oregon coast.  A great, easy hike along the way is Sweet Creek Falls, just outside of Mapleton.  This 2.2 mile trail passes a dozen small waterfalls and is a favorite among kids who can play in the shallow water when it’s warm and collect fallen leaves in autumn.

To really get away from the city, you have to go to the southeastern corner of the state.  A notable easy hike here is Steens Mountain Summit.  This is the ninth tallest mountain in Oregon and arguably the easiest to climb.  The landscape is unlike any of the previously mentioned hikes.

Oregon’s natural beauty shines on all of these hikes.  Get to know the landscape and what shaped it and you will enjoy each of these hikes even more because every trail tells a story.
Let me know if I can answer anymore questions for you.  Enjoy your hiking!

Answered by Cari Soong, Ask Oregon Outdoor Adventure Expert on December 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

I’d like to get information about bicycling the entire length of the OC&E Woods Line State Trail. I’d like to hear from someone who has actually done it. I’m interested in the best type of bicycle to use, is an off-road touring bike OK (Salsa Fargo, for instance), recommended tire size, water availability (streams, creeks, etc.), location of the trailhead in the Sycan Marsh, and so on. I haven’t been able to get much information from people who have cycled on the trail. Thanks.

I have not been on the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, but I found some people who have.  Most helpful was Zach Gilmour at Hutch’s Bicycles in Klamath Falls (541-850-2453).  He has ridden most of the trail and here is what he says:


Best type of bicycle to use:
It’s soft gravel for nearly all of it (the last seven or eight miles of it closest to Klamath Falls are paved).  For what I’ve ridden on the unpaved portion of that trail, a wide but low knob 29′er tire would do the trick perfectly.”

Water availability (streams, creeks, etc.): “As far as water stops goes, it’s pretty bleak out there for any kind of civilized water. The trail runs very close to and crosses Sprague River and Five Mile creek at several locations. You would be best off bringing water filtration.”

Location of the trailhead in the Sycan Marsh: For the location of the Sycan Marsh trailhead I actually did a bit of digging around. Nobody I knew has ever been out there so I called the park ranger responsible for that area. The closest access to Sycan Marsh is from Horse Glade trailhead. Apparently there is a gap in the trail that was put in to deter motorized vehicles from driving on it between those two locations (there are endangered species in the marsh). To his knowledge it should be accessible to bikes and hikers still.  You should be able to access the Horse Glade trailhead off of Ivory Pine road and turning on road 27″

and so on: “We get people from time to time asking about this section of trail but I have yet to hear of anybody that has traveled it. The park ranger even admitted a degree of ignorance to specifics of things out there. It seems to be a very remote area. If you do make the trip, I would really like to hear about it!”  I do have first-hand knowledge of many of the dirt roads and ATV trails in the land just south west of Sprague River. If travels bring you through there I should probably be more helpful.

I also found this journal on crazyguyonabike.com.  It has some good info, but is a little dated… 2008I hope this helps you plan your trip.  I can’t say enough about how helpful the folks were at Hutch’s with my questions and they can also help you if you have more specific questions or need supplies before your ride.

 

Answered by Cari Soong, Ask Oregon Outdoor Adventure Expert on December 9th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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