All posts filed under: Adventures

South Slough Reserve, Oregon

South Slough Reserve, Oregon

The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough Reserve) is a large inlet off the southern Oregon coast. The slough is located south of Charleston and features a great trail system. There are several trailheads to start your trek – you can read up on the slough and study the different trails here. The South Slough Reserve On November 11, 2017 Nat and I started our hike at the parking lot located southeast of the South Slough Interpretive Center. The trail is well maintained and winds through a lush, green forest. We noticed a lot of small tunnels through the undergrowth alongside the trail. Possibly deer or other small animals – we just hoped that whatever it was didn’t come bursting through while we hiked past! Eventually we reached a split in the trail – left for Middle Creek Trail and right for Hidden Creek Trail. We opted right (you can see all the different trail split options in the map linked above). This part of the trail is a bit more narrow with open views of the undergrowth and nearby creek. Since …

Oregon Coast Trail

Oregon Coast Trail – Norton Gulch to Shore Acres

The Oregon Coast Trail is a 382-mile trek that follows the Oregon coastline between the Columbia River and the California border. The trail hugs the coast for most of the way but occasionally opts for nearby roads to avoid uncrossable rivers and other obstacles. There’s a dead-end section southwest of Coos Bay that takes you through Sunset Bay State Park, Norton Gulch, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Arago State Park. On Saturday, November 4, Nat and I set out for Sunset Bay. We decided to start there and then work our way down to Shore Acres. We didn’t plan to go all the way to Cape Arago – next time! Sunset Bay State Park After we arrived and shouldered our backpacks, we discovered that the trail was closed at Sunset Bay. The signage didn’t specify what was wrong, but we suspected a landslide. So we jumped back in the car, headed south, and then parked alongside the road to continue the trail there. Quick note: If you do start at Sunset Bay, you will eventually meet up with Cape Arago Highway and hike alongside the road for only a couple hundred feet before winding …

Waldo Lake, Oregon

Waldo Lake, Oregon

Waldo Lake, Oregon was not our first choice for a honeymoon destination. Nat and I originally had our sights set for Sky Lakes, Oregon, but nearby wildfires caused us to change our plans. Waldo Lake was one of the few places without imminent danger, though we still encountered smoke. August 26 came and went. We exchanged vows and made our promises in front of family and friends. Many relatives and friends spent countless hours prepping flowers and decorations. We could not have done it without them! I won’t lie – it was an exhausting day – but truly wonderful as well. That night Nat and I slept at home and then took off the next morning for our honeymoon. Our plan was to backpack around Waldo Lake for 3 nights, tour the Oregon caves, and enjoy several cabins. Very outdoorsy – perfect! Waldo Lake | Day 1 | Sunday Total: ~ 5.9 miles We arrived at North Waldo Campground around 10:45am on Sunday, August 27 (it was a 2.5 hour drive south from Mt. Angel). …

Marion Lake, Oregon

Marion Lake, Oregon

Marion Lake is a classic hiking and fishing destination in my household. My brothers and I grew up hiking this trail at least once a year and my parents still frequent the lake to this day. It was my first real intro to hiking and my first backpacking trip in 2011. Nat, Oliver, and I decided to visit Marion Lake once again for our most recent backpacking trip on June 24-26. Our friend Max, his fiancé Teal, and her younger brother Mark joined us. Marion Lake Marion Lake has become increasingly popular over the years, so I recommend arriving early. This way, you’ll snag a parking spot and a camping spot if necessary. Before you hit the trail, don’t forget your forest pass or day pass. You will also need to fill out a free wilderness pass, so the rangers know how many are in your group, how long you’ll be staying, etc. The hike into Marion Lake is about 3.1 miles and is easy-moderate. There are a few up-hill switchbacks going into the lake …

Underhill Trail, Oregon

Underhill Trail, Oregon

Nat and I decided to backpack Underhill Trail along Fifteen Mile Creek over Memorial Day weekend. We chose this trail because of its low popularity and close proximity to The Dalles. Underhill Trail #683 is located west of Dufur, Oregon in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The trailhead is just off of the main road, but you have to keep an eye out for the turnoff. We missed it and had to turn around the first time. There’s a roundabout and small campground area with a bathroom at the trailhead. We arrived at around 10:30 am – we were there earlier but forgot our forest pass. There were only 3 or 4 cars and a few people camping. Yay for no crowds! This was my first trip with my new backpack*! It took me some time to adjust the straps and organize my gear. We backpacked for only one night, so it was the perfect opportunity to figure out a good system. I realized I needed a compression sack for my sleeping bag to fit it …

Badger Creek Trail, Oregon

Badger Creek Trail, Oregon

On Saturday, April 22, my older brother Oliver (below, right), fiancé Nat (below, center), and I stuffed the essentials for survival into our backpacking packs and began our trek along Badger Creek Trail #479. The trailhead is located right next to Bonney Crossing Campground, west of Tygh Valley, Oregon. To reach Badger Creek Trail you have to drive along a series of gravel roads and down a steep hill, but as long as you pay attention to the signage and take it slow you’ll make it just fine! Badger Creek Trail Badger Creek Trail is an easy-moderate hike that follows Badger Creek most of the way. It takes you up the side of the canyon at around 2-3 miles in and then back down to the creek again. The forest is quite dense in some areas but eventually opens up with little to no underbrush in other areas. This makes for a fun, varied hike through the wilderness! The trail is about 12 miles one way to Badger Lake. You will find great camping spots every mile or so along the trail. The farther you hike the greater …