Local Hiking: Get out in Nature

Written by: Dakota Gange 

When one hears the name “Amazon,” is the image conjured consistent with a website? If the answer is yes, it’s time to get out and spend some time with nature. 

The autumn air is refreshing, and here one can keep more than a six feet distance. 

On a forest trail, the sun kisses one’s skin and the raindrops pitter and patter across the face. The smell of effervescent flowers and notes of pine floats across the nose like the purest form of essential oils. Bird songs fill the sky, while  squirrels chase each other around a tree, bringing out the child in us all. 

During the sunny seasons,  bees and  butterflies float across a field of flowers — pollinating them to their desire. The colder and wetter seasons bring in bold colors of  water droplets among  clouds — perfect for  viewing  a sunrise or sunset from atop a hill or mountain. One might spot a newt scurrying in the mud or hear an owl hoot from a  tree top. 

Nature such as this may not reside in one’s backyard, but they  may exist in  local, easily-accessible hiking, biking and walking trails. 

Listed below are my most frequented and favorite go-to hiking spots in Corvallis —a mere 25-30 minutes away from Western’s campus —even when all I have is two hours to spare. 

The Lewisburg Saddle

Residing in Oregon State Universitys’ McDonald Dunn State Forest, this trail is a great option to get some space from other hikers. Its trails contain old and new growth, as well as some gorgeous Douglas firs. The trail is wide and easy to find; one can walk the full loop —which can take several hours— or make it a shorter hike by turning around. 

Upper Horse Trail and Ridge Trail; Lewisburg Saddle West

This trail is my absolute favorite, taking one through a fairy-like “Fern Gully” wonderland. Containing moss-covered growth, beautiful bent trees and branches creating a tunnel-like view— I often imagine this is where the fairies come out at night to play. 

Fitton Green

Craving a spectacular view of a sunset or sunrise? Well there’s no need to travel up to Mary’s Peak when we have this special place; its view of Corvallis is comparable to that of the large mountain. 

Bald Hill

A classic for the locals, Bald Hill is a crowd favorite, as it is so navigable with multiple trails to choose from. All trails lead from the bottom of the hill to the top, one way or another. One can summit this hill in an hour and the view is simply breathtaking. There are paved biking/walking trails that line the bottom, perfect for wheeled excursions. 

Chip Ross

This trail rests on the cusp of Corvallis’ Crescent Valley High school, off of Highland Drive. It’s a great place to view the city, with wide trails that take you on an up-and-down excursion and a few benches lining the top where you can sit and take in the view. There’s an old oak tree with a large red heart carved into it; one might find a couple sitting on the bench below. Hiking here is spacious and will get your heart pumping.

Contact the author at howlmanagingeditor@wou.edu