Hiking trail recommendations

Written by: Quinlan Elise | Photo Editor

The weather is getting nicer, and it’s time to go on some hikes while the trails aren’t too muddy. Here are some recommendations for good local hikes to go on, with friends or solo.  

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge — About 20 minutes away in Dallas, there is a system of walkable trails, filled with a variety of beautiful wild plants and animals. Baskett Slough is a great place to go to birdwatch, but be sure to wear sunscreen because shade can be hard to find.

Silver Falls — An Oregon staple, Silver Falls State Park is 50 minutes East of Monmouth. The highlight of the trails is a wide arched walk behind a 177-foot waterfall curtain. A visit to the Trail of Ten Falls is a must, bringing hikers to the base of ten waterfalls along a 7.2-mile loop with shortcuts, if needed. As a more popular site, a parking permit must be purchased.  

McDowell Creek Falls — About 70 minutes from Monmouth, Lebanon has a beautiful three miles of hiking trails alongside clear water. There are four layers of waterfalls to find, with lookout points and benches to rest, and a beautiful bridge system perfect for photos.

Abiqua Falls — A short but steep hike with a rewarding view, Abiqua Falls is an 80-minute drive to Scotts Mills. The route to the trail may require a car that can handle big bumps, and the hike is difficult, but the secluded and magical waterfall is worth the trek. 

Dog Mountain — Located two hours away in the Columbia River Gorge, the Dog Mountain trail lines the Southern border of Washington alongside the Columbia River. The trail is one of the most popular, but also one of the most strenuous in the Gorge, and the steep hike is prone to strong winds.  It is currently peak spring wildflower season in the area, so one should be prepared for traffic and possibly full parking lots. There is a $5 permit fee and a shuttle from Stevenson, WA, if there are no parking spots available.  

Drift Creek Falls — An easy trail with a towering waterfall and suspension bridge, this hike brings one out to the Oregon Coast, where there are numerous other lush locations to visit. One will need to purchase a $5 day pass, but that can be done online. Drift Creek Falls is a 75-minute drive from Monmouth toward Lincoln City. 

Contact the author at howlphotoeditor@wou.edu