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Hiking Trails

Hiking

Located in the Menagerie Wilderness, this trail is accessed from a small parking area shared with the Walton Ranch Trail, 19.8 miles from Sweet Home. The trail climbs into the wilderness, winding through mature forests to the base of Rooster Rock and has views of the South Santiam drainage. An alternate starting point is the Rooster Rock Trailhead, which makes the hike shorter, but steeper.
Open to: Hikers and horses
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 2.8 miles, 2,000 feet

This ADA accessible trail leads to a viewing platform that overlooks a meadow where elk can often be seen in the winter and early spring.
Open to: hikers/wheelchairs
Mileage and Elevation Gain: ¼ mile, 30 feet

Beginning  along the South Santiam River  and winding its way through old growth forests to the top of Tombstone Pass and then to Fish Lake, the 19.5 mile wagon road is a great destination for hikers, bikers and horse riders. Used by early pioneers to access Central Oregon grazing areas, the road is now a mix of double track and single track, broken sections that can be accessed at different points along Highway 20. Multiple official and unofficial trail heads give visitors many options for a variety of hikes. Starting at the west end: Mountain House to Latiwi Creek Road. This section is one of the most intact pieces of the original wagon road and parallels the South Santiam River for much of the way. Great sword ferns and a cave are highlights on this trail. The road is mostly double track and gains slight elevation as you travel west. There are 2 creek crossings on this section that are usually easily passable, except during large runoff events. A half mile loop trail off this section leads to House Rock Falls.
Open to: hikers, bikers, horses
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 3.3, 600 feet

Starting on the north side of the South Santiam River, this section begins in a section of second growth, winding its way through old growth as it follows the route of the original wagon road up the famed Sevenmile Hill. Look for historic bridge abutments that used to aid travel along the road.
Open to: hikers, bikers, horses
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 3.3, 1100 feet

This section mixes old sections of the wagon road with new spurs and single track as it winds its way to the top of the pass. Glimpses of Iron Mountain and Green Mountain can be seen from various points.
Open to: hikers, bikers, horses
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 4.2, 1000 feet

A mix of forest roads (closed to vehicles) and sections of the original wagon road make up this relatively downhill and flat portion of the wagon road to the district boundary. Visitors pass through a mix of forest types along the way to the Historic Fish Lake Guard Station, an original outpost for Forest Service employees and once a major stop along the wagon road. Open in late June.
Open to: hikers, bikers, horses
Mileage and Elevation Loss: 8.7, 900 feet

Accessed off the Wagon Road, this half a mile loop trail runs along the South Santiam River, leading to a viewpoint of the 40 foot cascading waterfall and impressive rock wall. Shortest access is gained by parking at the junction of Latiwi Creek Road and the Wagon Road and walking west. Note – a new bridge was installed in 2013 that will restore access to the trail from House Rock Campground, which will be directly across the river from the trailhead.
Open to: hikers
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 1/2, 50 feet

This trail has long and short alternatives that make it a perfect destination for a variety of hiking levels. Located in the Middle Santiam Wilderness, this trail takes you on a true wilderness experience as you follow the route to Donaca Lake and then to the base of Chimney Peak. It's only ¾ of a mile from the trailhead to the Middle Santiam River, and a great place to cool off on a hot day. The trail to Chimney Peak winds through old growth stands and you must cross both the Middle Santiam River and Pyramid Creek; neither have a bridge. Water levels are lowest in the fall.
Open to: hikers and horse riders
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 12.7, 3000 feet

This trail system has two options, you can go west 3.2 miles to Knob Rock and tie into the Chimney Peak Trail, or east 2.2 miles where you scramble over to Swamp Peak and tie into the Gordan Peak trail system.
Open to: hikers and horse riders
Mileage and Elevation Gain: see above, varies

Your hike starts on a ridgeline with periodic views of Mount Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack, before gradually descending through mature, old-growth forests. After 4.6 miles the trail joins the Chimney Peak trail near the Middle Santiam Wilderness boundary. Another option from this trailhead is to head northeast 3.1 miles and tie into Scar Mountain and the Swamp Peak Trail.
Open to: hikers and horse riders
Mileage and Elevation Gain: see above, varies

The area around the Iron Mountain Trail is managed and preserved for its unique botanical interest: over 300 species of flowering plants call the area home. Flowering plants can be enjoyed throughout the early summer. Many flowers bloom at varied times so it pays to come more than once to see them all. There is a viewing platform at the summit with interpretive signs.
Open to: hikers
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 1.7, 1500 feet

A gentle grade leads you through the shade of the forest onto open hillsides bursting with wildflowers in the spring and summer. This trail can be combined with the Iron Mountain Trail and the Santiam Wagon Road for a nice loop hike of 6.4 miles from Tombstone Pass.
Open to: hikers
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 3.5, 1700 feet

This 0.8 mile ADA accessible trail winds through a classic old-growth forest stand of Douglas firwestern red cedar, and mountain hemlock. This loop trail winds down a section of the Old Santiam Wagon Road and then to a view of Hackleman Creek before winding back around through trees upwards of 500 years old.
Open to: hikers/wheelchairs
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 0.8, 100 feet

The trail begins by gently dropping down toward Maude Creek beneath a peaceful old-growth canopy. After crossing the creek, the trail switchbacks through dense forest before opening into open hillsides teaming with wildflowers in the summer. Remnants of the old lookout are visible from the top as well as a great view of many Cascade peaks.
Open to: hikers, bikers, horse riders
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 4.0, 2100 feet

This trail provides easy access around the lake, 1 mile. The lake is a great place to have a picnic and try your hand at catching the stocked brook trout.
Open to: hikers
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 1, 100 feet

Visitors to the crystal clear water of McDowell Creek will be rewarded with the beautiful vistas of Royal Terrace Falls and Majestic Falls from the bridges and viewing decks along the 3 miles of hiking trails of this lush green park. The McDowell Creek Falls offer exceptional scenery for your hike, nature study or picnicking pleasure. Various parking areas and loop trails can be taken to shorten the hike.
Open to: hikers
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 3.3, 750 feet

Walking/Running

The Foster Lake Trail runs along the south side of Foster Lake from Lewis Creek County Park to Foster Dam. Numerous access points are available on North River Road as well as Gedney Creek Boat Ramp and Lewis Creek County Park. This trail provides views of the lake and old growth trees as it winds its way along the shoreline.
Open to: walkers, runners
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 2.8, 100 feet

This section of the Foster Lake Trail travels along the lake from 60th Avenue to Shea Point. The majority is paved. This 1 mile long trail is a great walk along the shoreline of Foster Lake. Swimming and fishing opportunities off the trail make it a great stop all year. Parking is available just east of the town-homes, accessible from Highway 20.
Open to: walkers,runners
Mileage and Elevation Gain: 1.0, 0 feet

Best accessed from Elm St. at 16th Ave, or at 5th avenue about two blocks south of Elm st, this forest canopied dirt trail follows an old railroad line for nearly a mile and a half. It actually starts in Sankey Park and follows Ames Creek until it veers off to 16th ave. Tree-lined solace all the way, except for a short stretch through the Canyon Creek housing development. 
Open to: walkers, runners
Mileage: 1.2 miles 

This route takes a runner or walker up a gentle incline to the bridge on a road that, particularly in the early  morning, is not heavily traveled, so walkers or runners can move out into the road if they keep their ears open for oncoming traffic. 
Open to: walkers, runners
Mileage: 1 mile

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