Lower Soda Falls

Cascadia State Park is a peaceful campground and picnic area that includes river access, a bit of history, and, of course, a waterfall. We began our adventure by hiking the short River Trail down to the rocky beach of the South Santiam River. There were a handful of families on the shore and swimming in…

Little Zigzag Falls

I absolutely loved the trail to Little Zigzag Falls! It hugs the river almost the whole way to the waterfall, and it’s very scenic. Plus, it’s short and easy. The waterfall itself is not all that spectacular, but with such great access to the river, there is plenty of fun to be found. SUMMARY: My…

Yocum Falls

Our first attempt to find Yocum Falls was in March, over Spring Break, and there was still snow on the ground. We were not successful. In July we returned, and with a clear view of the ground we were able to make our way down to the waterfall. The hike begins at the historic marker…

Wahkeena Falls & Fairy Falls

We visited Wahkeena Falls twice; the first time we went, we hadn’t done our research ahead of time and didn’t realize that Fairy Falls was waiting to be discovered farther up the trail. So of course we returned, and we thoroughly enjoyed both visits. Wahkeena Falls is a tiered waterfall that lives up the meaning of…

Moon Falls

Moon Falls is the best of the three waterfalls accessed from Forest Service Road #1790, outside of Cottage Grove. We visited in September of 2015, an especially dry year, so our pictures show the waterfall in its most unimpressive state. This is unfortunate because, when the creek is more than a trickle, Moon Falls appears to be quite impressive. The stream cascades…

Coal Creek Falls

We visited Coal Creek Falls in February. It’s an off-trail waterfall, so it doesn’t get much traffic, and the untouched beauty of the spot is almost magical. Everything is covered in inches-deep moss or fallen leaves, or both. Our directions were not accurate, and we almost gave up trying to find the right spot. But it…

McDowell Creek Falls

Four waterfalls can be found within McDowell Creek Falls County Park. The trail is an easy loop which can be tackled from either direction. I suggest crossing the bridge at Royal Terrace instead of hiking to the top; that way, you’ll approach Majestic Falls from the bottom instead of the top. Either choice will take you to Royal Terrace…

University Falls & Fern Rock Falls

There are at least eight waterfalls accessible from Highway 6. University Falls was the first of this set for my family to visit. We visited in early December, hoping to get some good family pictures for a Christmas card. University Falls is a scenic spot, but there is really only one angle from which to take…

Gorton Creek

A trail beginning in the Wyeth Campground leads to a beautiful creekside hike and two waterfalls. An added bonus is that it is not well-known and thus not crowded like most other trails in the gorge. The trail itself actually ends at the first waterfall, a pretty ten-foot drop named Emerald Falls. After that point, we had to…

Wildwood Falls

Wildwood Falls is the closest and one of the best waterfalls outside of Cottage Grove. There is no hike involved, but the location is perfect for swimming, cliff jumping, wading, and sunbathing. It is a popular spot with the locals, so be prepared to share your experience with a bunch of strangers. The river is wide…

Brice Creek Falls

Row River Road (“Row” rhymes with “cow”) east of Cottage Grove leads to eleven waterfalls! On our first excursion in the area, we saw six of them. The first stop for us was Brice Creek Falls. The unique thing about Brice Creek Falls is that it is at a 90 degree angle to the creek….

Shellburg Falls

(Featured image credit goes to Max Radke. Used with permission.) Shellburg Falls is one of my favorites. The trail goes behind the waterfall, and the volume of the stream (at least in August) is small enough that you can actually stand in the waterfall itself. You can also wade in the splash pool. It’s a…