The Willamette National Forest is a densely forested area east of the city of Eugene, OR. Right in the center of the state, this region boasts mild temperatures and an abundance of natural beauty. You can look forward to exploring hiking trails, waterfalls, rivers, and lakes.
The very popular Koosah and Sahalie Falls Trail is located near Cascadia and features spectacular waterfalls along its route. Koosah is 64 feet high while Sahalie is 73 feet high. You will also see the Carmen Reservoir, a beautifully serene little lake that makes for a great place for a picnic. This is a fun and easy hike where you can bring your kids as well as the dog along with you.
Length: 2.2 miles
Tamolitch Blue Pool via McKenzie River Trail is an out-and-back trail located near Blue River. While strolling through the forest, you can take in some spectacular views and a waterfall. On this well-kept trail, you will come across gorgeous conifers and the McKenzie River on the way to Blue Pool. You simply cannot beat the view at the end of the trail.
Length: 3.7 miles
The Proxy Falls Loop Trail is another popular trail located near the Blue River. It is an easy hike for any skill level and is great for anyone looking to engage in nature trips and bird watching. There are two sets of falls on this trail, and both are picturesque, so bring your camera for some fantastic pictures. There is a downhill section going to the falls with a few loose rocks, so be sure to watch your step.
Length: 1.6 miles
Clear Lake Trail is a longer hike, but the trail is quite easy and suitable for just about anyone. You can take the kids and a stroller on the path since it is partially paved. You will find some wonderful views of the river, thick forest, and Clear Lake itself. You will also enjoy the amazing geological formations.
Length: 4.9 miles
The Cone Peak Trail, also located near Cascadia, features beautiful wildflowers and climbs up to the summit of Iron Mountain. Get ready to experience majestic old-growth timber and spectacular views. When you get into the meadows, you will be exposed to plenty of sunshine, so be sure to pack your sunscreen for the trip.
Length: 6.1 miles
This forest is famous for being the home of the northern spotted owl, an endangered bird that caused a huge controversy between environmentalists and the timber industry. Besides the owls, you can also catch sight of pileated woodpeckers, Pacific wren, thrush, and sooty grouse.
You will find lake, pond, river, and stream fishing here. The forest has some world-class fishing opportunities for Chinook salmon, bull trout, rainbow trout, and bass. Lakes and ponds produce largemouth and smallmouth bass as well as bluegill, brown bullhead, and crappies. Rivers have salmon, steelhead, and trout.
If you enjoy hunting for little treasures, make sure you have your app downloaded because geocaching is available in the forest. Most of the containers are waterproof, so they can be located year-round.
When the weather is clear, this is a wonderful area for stargazing. The skies are pollution free, and you are far enough from the city lights that the stars shine brightly at night.
Address: Supervisor’s Office, 3106 Pierce Parkway, Suite D, Springfield, OR 97477
Fee: Day Pass $5
Fee: Annual Pass $30
The Willamette National Forest is one of the most spectacular areas in the state. It contains eight wilderness areas spread out across 1.5 million acres. Hiking trails take you up to spectacular views of nearby mountain ranges where the stands of old-growth timber are spectacular. You will enjoy fresh, clean air and a wide variety of wildlife and birds. There are various places to swim and fish as well as lots of boating and cycling opportunities. Since this is such a vast area, traveling by RV means you can move about freely while looking forward to a place to sleep at the end of the day. Take advantage of all the natural beauty the Pacific Northwest has to offer.