April is experiencing record high temperatures this month. What better way to enjoy this spring weather with a little hiking? Oregon offers beautiful hikes within a couple hours of practically every city and town. Here are some that you may want to try on your next free weekend.
Little North Santiam
This is a moderate, out and back hike that is nine miles with 2,260 ft of elevation gain. It brings you along the Little North Santiam River just 37 miles East of Salem, off of North Santiam Hwy 22.
This hike is through a lush forest in the Santiam foothills and pases through an old mining town with abandoned buildings and old cars. It is an easy eight mile partial loop just 23 miles East of Salem off of Hwy 22.
Silver Falls State Park
This renown hike has you walking and climbing next to nine different stunning waterfalls! It’s an easy 8.6 mile loop, but there are plenty of areas to cut down the distance for a shorter day hike. You can reach the state park 25 miles East of Salem on Hwy 214.
McDonald-Dunn Research Forest
There are many different trails in this forest, but one of the ones that have been voted best is Section 36 Loop and Powder House Trail. It is a 4.1 loop at moderate difficulty. A hiker will experience a small lake and mountain vistas on this trip, only a few miles south of Monmouth on Highway 99.
This hike has great coastal views and tons of wildlife. The moderate year-round hike named Nature Conservancy trail climbs 2.1 miles to a meadow with ocean views. You can find it north of Lincoln City off of hwy 101.
Drift Creek Falls
Looking for a shorter hike with lots of activity? This is the one for you! This easy and fun out and back three mile hike east of Lincoln City has gorgeous waterfall views, swimming holes, fishing spots, a large suspension bridge, and great scenery. Have extra time? Head west for some beach waves and Mo’s clam chowder.
Although hiking is a perfect way to spend a day adventuring, it is important to remember that safety should be your first concern. It is highly encouraged for hikers to pack and dress according to the weather, use caution when hiking with animals, tell another person where they will be hiking and when they plan to return, as well as taking some time to study the area before setting off. Whichever hike you choose, don’t forget to post your pictures on social media with the hashtag #HowlAboutIt, so other students can see how their peers have been staying active and enjoying the spring term weather.