- Karla Gadea
The Siuslaw is made up of a wide variety of ecosystems, ranging from coastal forests to sand dunes. The Siuslaw National Forest encompasses more than 630,000 acres along the central Oregon Coast between Coos Bay and Tillamook, and in some places extends east from the ocean, beyond the crest of the Oregon Coast Range. It includes the Sand Lake Recreation Area and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The forest contains Marys Peak, the highest point in the Oregon Coast Range at 4,097 feet. Numerous aquatic habitats are found in the forest: marine shore, rivers and streams 1,200 miles, including the Alsea, Nestucca, Siuslaw, and Umpqua rivers and 30 lakes.
Recreational activities in the Siuslaw National Forest include fishing, camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, exploring tide pools, and riding off highway vehicles. There are three officially designated wilderness areas within the Siuslaw National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System: Drift Creek Wilderness in Lincoln County, Cummins Creek Wilderness in Lane County, and Rock Creek Wilderness also in Lane County.
Drift Creek Falls Trail Bridge: The highlight of the trail is a 240-foot long cable suspension bridge. Anchored by cables and ties that are cemented into opposing bluffs, the bridge holds over a hundred fifty thousand pounds. While the bridge does offer a bit of a bounce, the thirty-inch wide tread is perfectly safe and the bird’s-eye view will leave you spellbound. As does Drift Creek Falls, a 65-foot free fall, whopper of a waterfall that’s located immediately below you. 3 mile round trip.
Niagara Falls Trail: Despite the famous name, and despite its close location to Salem, few people have even heard of this spectacular hideaway, home to a pair of 120-foot waterfalls. An easy trail of 2 mils round trip takes hikers into a remote box canyon where Pheasant Creek and Niagara Falls are seen. Located northwest of Willamina, and about 10 miles east of Hebo Mountain, and can be reached in 1 hour and 20 mins.
Mary’s Peak: Climbing the highest peak in the Oregon Coast Range is a rite of passage for many outdoor-lovers in the Willamette Valley. The wildflower-dotted summit meadows offer spectacular vistas from the ocean to the Cascades during spring and summer, while providing training ground for climbers during winter. Multiple trails lead to the 4,097-foot summit, from moderately difficult to quite strenuous.
Kentucky Falls/North Fork Trails: Located in a remote, no-man’s land between Eugene and Florence, the Kentucky Falls trail drops downhill 2.2 miles one-way past Upper Kentucky Falls before reaching the canyon where North Fork Falls and Lower Kentucky Falls thunder literally side-by-side. North Fork Smith River Trail begins at the junction near the dueling waterfalls and travels an additional 6.5 miles through a rainforest jungle of old-growth on a ragged but stunning trail the trio of 100-foot waterfalls combined with the lush beauty of the North Fork Smith River makes this the top hike in the Central Oregon Coast Range.
Oregon Dunes: The Oregon Dunes NRA extends along the Oregon coast from Florence to Coos Bay. In addition to some of the state’s finest beach areas the NRA includes numerous campgrounds, hiking trails, boat launch sites, and picnicking areas. Visitors to the NRA can hike quiet trails through lush vegetation teeming with wildlife, fish dark lakes, beachcombing for miles or hit the dunes in an ATV.
Hiking, Horseback Riding, Fishing, Biking, ATV
Additional Logding Options
Residence Inn Eugene (25 Club Rd, Eugene, OR 97401)
Phone: (541) 342-7171
Hilton Eugene (66 E 6th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401)
Phone: (541) 342-2000
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Newport (135 SE 32nd St, Newport, OR 97365)
Phone: (541) 867-3377