Oregon’s spring teaser continues (2015)


Lace up your hiking boots or load up the bicycles

View of Neahkahnie Mountain from Cape Falcon.

View of Neahkahnie Mountain from Cape Falcon.

Another sunny weekend promises record high temperatures. You don’t want to miss exploring a new trail while the weather is good. Here are four trails to fit whatever mood you find yourself in come Saturday and Sunday:

  • Adrenaline rush: Stub Stewart State Park is calling all mountain bikers. Just 30 miles west of Portland, the park boasts 15 miles of dedicated mountain biking trails with enticing names like Rise and Shine, Drip Torch and Greenhorn. Ranging from easy to extremely difficult, there are trails for every experience level. Take off from the Hilltop Day-Use Area in the park ($5 for the day) or from Banks-Vernonia State Trail trailheads at Buxton or Tophill.
  • Leisurely stroll: Luckiamute Landing State Natural Area, 24 miles southwest of Salem, offers three miles of trails winding through meadows and a riparian hardwood forest of Oregon ash and bigleaf maple to the banks of the Willamette River. Bring your binoculars for birdwatching and admire the restoration efforts of Oregon Parks and Recreations Department and the Luckiamute Watershed Council to restore this natural floodplain by removing invasive species and planting native shrubs and trees. Floodplain re-vegetation work began in late 2010.
  • Best ocean view:  The 2 ½-mile Cape Falcon Trail on the northern Oregon coast can’t be beat for stunning views on a clear day. The trail is in Oswald West State Park and you begin your hike at the northwest parking lot along U.S. 101. A quick ½-mile side trip to the Kramer Memorial gives way to a brilliant overlook of Short Sand Beach. Continue the rest of the way out to Cape Falcon, through the high-growing salal, where you can see north all the way to Tillamook Head and south to Cape Lookout.
  • Family-friendly bike ride: Champoeg State Heritage Area is the perfect place for a wobbly youngster recently weaned from training wheels. The park’s mostly flat 4-mile bicycle trail begins in the Riverside Day-Use Area, winds through meadows and along the river bank, and ends at the park’s Historic Butteville Store (not yet open for the season).

Posted on March 6, 2015, in Oregon State Park trails, state parks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It’s great to have the cover off the camper! We just returned from first trip of the season- a four day stay at Cape Lookout State Park. What a glorious time! Took lot’s of photos… can’t wait to get to writing again in my blog about our beautiful State Parks.

  2. I was glad to see the salal had been trimmed back on the Cape Falcon trail when my family hiked it last month. It seems to be growing back but I could at least tell it had been trimmed this year unlike years in the past. Thanks park staff!
    Also thanks for clearing that Sitka from the OCT in Arch Cape off Cape Falcon Rd heading up to Cape Falcon!

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