You guys. Summer is just around the corner. This full time teacher is READY. All that is standing in my way is a mountain of paperwork, a messy classroom, and (as I write this) 18 contract days. This is equal parts overwhelming and exciting. So I thought to celebrate the freedoms that summer brings, we would venture a little further out to the hike I hope to do first and one of my most favorites: Sweet Creek Falls.
I first stumbled upon this hike a few years ago with my nephews, and we have gone back each year. It is lush and green, and follows Sweet Creek the entirety of the hike. There are so many places you can veer off the trail and picnic or rest right by the water. Plus, it’s a perfect stop on the way to the beach.
How to Get There:
Take Hwy 126 west toward Florence. At (just before) the Siuslaw Bridge in Mapleton (46 miles from Eugene), leave Hwy 126 and drive south on Sweet Creek Rd for 11 miles to the Homestead Trailhead.
Hours: None specifically stated
Parking: Well marked parking lot
Passes Needed: NONE
Distance: 2.2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 350 ft
Bathrooms: Vault Toilet
Trail: Damp dirt trail, wooden bridges, canyon wall “cat-walk”
Cell Service: None
Potential Dangers: None (unless you wade in the water then the rocks could be slippery and the current could be quick – use caution if you go in the water.)
Safe to Hike Alone: YES
Animals: Dogs must be on a leash
Carrier: Deuter Kid Comfort II
Kid Shoes: Hikers or Keens
In the pack: Water & Snacks
This is an out and back (1.1 mile each way) trail and the perfect starter hike to take small children on if you are questioning what they can handle. Or the perfect trail for a Mama to try out how well she can hike while carrying a little. The trail is gentle and rolling, consisting of a few stairs, bridges, and catwalks! (If you are at all weirded out by heights – please note that there is a stretch of the trail where you are walking along a metal catwalk, which has been bolted to the side of the rock.) It is a serene and absolutely gorgeous hike with many small waterfalls that grace the trail.
I have only ever packed my little in the backpack. I’m sure the Ergo would do just fine, but the backpack always seemed more comfortable AND I was often the only adult, so this allowed me to carry her and have storage for my wallet, keys, snacks, waters, etc. This summer, my littlest will walk on her own.
What we love about this hike:
Grab a friend and go explore this trail. Leave a comment when you have gone - I would love to know what you guys thought of this hidden gem!
Jenna is mama to two awesome kids, a boy & a girl. They explore Lane County's hills & mountains on a regular basis. See all of Jenna's Hike Mom Hike posts here.
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