Scenic Day Trip from Eugene, OR - Hike From Koosah To Sahalie Falls

Hecetta Head, Lane County, OregonResidents of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon are fortunate to have a wide variety of outdoor opportunities within an easy drive in any direction.  The Pacific Ocean is an hour's scenic drive away to the west over the Coast Range and beside the Siuslaw River.  A drive north or south will take them through the verdant Willamette Valley and its many farms, wineries, and ranches.  Drive east and they're quickly into the heavily forested foothills and passes in the Cascade Mountain Range.

One of our favorite day trips is driving east on Highway 126 up the beautiful McKenzie River Valley and hiking beside its crystal clear waters between Koosah and Sahalie Falls.  Once we pass the borders of Springfield, the 90-minute drive begins to wind past lavender, Christmas tree, blueberry, hazelnut and other farms and orchards.

Pumpkins at Herrick Farms in Springfield, OregonWe'll frequently stop at Herrick Farms for some fresh produce and to pet the farm animals.  Today, we bought some fresh apple cider and picked out a pumpkin to carve for Halloween.  Locally grown produce and meats is just one of the benefits of living in the Willamette Valley.

WLeaburg Dam & Fish Hatchery, McKenzie River, Oregone continued on Highway 126 and stopped at the Leaburg Dam and Fish Hatchery.  The dam provides hydroelectric energy for the Eugene Water and Electric Board to offer its electric customers.  The hatchery sends trout fingerlings into the McKenzie River to grow and hopefully evade the lures of local fly fishermen.  It was tempting to take some of the full grown rainbow trout home for dinner, but instead we paid a quarter for fish food and watched them eat what we tossed their way.

Our trip continued alongside the McKenzie River and its tributaries, through tall pine forests, and small towns like Vida, Blue River, and McKenzie Bridge. We pass the aptly named Paradise Campground, where we have enjoyed many a wonderful camping trip and our neighbors nearly gave birth to their only daughter many years ago.

Carmen Reservoir, Linn County, OregonBefore we know it, we're turning off into Ice Cap Campground and the start of our hike.  The moss covered ground and trees tell the silent story of frequent rains and heavy snows.  The roar of Koosah Falls nearby tells us that we're in for a visual treat today.

We walk through Ice Cap Campground, join the McKenzie River Trail, and down to Carmen Reservoir, where a lone fisherman tries his luck.  I look through the clear water to the lakebed below and am glad that this is the source of our drinking water, one of the purest sources in the United States.

Koosah Falls, Linn County, OregonNow we're ready for the short hike from Koosah Falls to Sahalie Falls. The water is blue-green and the fallen timber criss crosses the river and the surrounding area. I feel a little like Frodo in "Lord of the Rings" as I walk through a moss covered forest.

You hear Koosah Falls well before you see it.  Even in early fall after a dry summer, the water cascades with strength over the volcanic shelf.  Campers at Ice Cap Campground are serenaded to sleep with the peaceful sound of running water.

McKenzie River, Linn County, OregonAs we walk along the trail, I'm still amazed that this place is in our "backyard" and not somewhere I've spent lots of money to go to on vacation.  International students that are with me marvel at the cleanliness of the water.  I can't believe that this picture is in western Oregon and not the Himalayas.

Sahalie Falls, Linn County, OregonA short walk later we finish at Sahalie Falls.  It's just off Highway 126, so you could drive here instead of take the short hike.  But, you miss so much in the process.  We're fortunate that Mother Nature has smiled on western Oregon.

 

Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest.  He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.

To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook.  You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.

 

Comment balloon 1 commentRick Obst • October 09 2012 06:55AM
Scenic Day Trip from Eugene, OR - Hike From Koosah To Sahalie Falls
share
Residents of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon are fortunate to have a wide variety of outdoor opportunities within an easy drive in any direction. The Pacific Ocean is an hour's scenic drive away to the west over the Coast Range and beside the… more
Real Estate Photographers Need This Equipment To Take Quality Pictures
share
The Photography for Real Estate blog wrote a post called So You Want To Be A Real Estate Photographer Since a big part of attracting buyers and selling homes starts online, excellent photos are an important element in a Realtor's marketing… more
The Willamette River Runs Through The Middle of Eugene, Oregon
share
This picture shows the peaceful scene of two fishermen in a small boat on the Willamette River in western Oregon. Yet, the picture was taken from a wide pedestrian bridge near the downtown of Oregon's second most populous city - Eugene, Oregon &… more
Use RMLS. com To Find Homes For Sale In Eugene and Lane County, Oregon
share
Looking for a home for sale in Eugene and Lane County Oregon but not ready to contact a Realtor yet? You can begin your search for available homes at RMLS. com the local multiple listing service's website with public access. The site offers a… more
Eugene, Oregon Has Over Twenty Active Neighborhood Associations
share
The City of Eugene has an active neighborhood program with 23 neighborhood associations If you live in Eugene, Oregon, or are thinking about moving here, you can enter your address to find out which association you belong to. Regular meetings… more
Fish-Friendly Car Wash Kits Are Available for Free in Eugene, Oregon
share
Car washes are popular fundraising activities for school, church, and non-profit organizations everywhere. People hold up signs urging drivers to pull in and get their vehicle washed in exchange for a donation. It's a fun activity that helps to… more
Show Us The Money And We'll Show You The Oregon Duck and Cheerleaders!
share
Football season is here and the University of Oregon Ducks are poised to contend again for the Pac-12 and national championships. Many Oregonians are passionate about their team and Autzen stadium has a lengthy consecutive game sellout streak… more
What Should I Expect From A Real Estate Agent or Property Manager?
share
I recently read a thoughtful post on the Oregon Real Estate Agency's blog by Oregon Real Estate Board Member Diana Emami - What I Expect from a Real Estate Agent or Property Manager. She talks about some of the qualities that she would expect… more
Do You Need An Assistant And How Do You Find One?
share
There comes a time in a successful real estate agent’s career when there is more work to do than hours in a day If the business is to grow, a qualified assistant or virtual assistant needs to be found, hired, and trained. It’s a big step… more
Get Your Car Repaired At The No Name Garage in West Eugene, Oregon
share
For over 30 years, the No Name Garage in west Eugene, Oregon has been the place to take your car for repair They specialize in Volkswagen cars and buses, as well as other German cars. That's wise in Eugene, which is probably second to Berkeley… more