Oregon’s Niagara Falls
Back-road adventures are the very best. That is especially true for the ones that let you get a sneak peek at nature! This week’s getaway may have you thinking you’re living in a distant state. But it’s true: Oregon does indeed have it’s own Niagara Falls!
And it pays to go with someone who really knows the way – like George Buckingham of the Siuslaw National Forest.
“It’s a little more out of the way and characterized as more difficult with some steeper portions, but it’s also only a mile down and a mile out.”
Our small hiking party sported cameras in hand and each had a mission in mind as we trekked high in the coast range hills on a trail you’ve likely missed. This is a place where the wet is measured in feet not inches and we were determined to reach a namesake falls that will surprise you:
“We get a lot of questions about that and they wonder – ‘did you name it after Niagara Falls in New York?’ – No, it’s named after Niagara Creek…which is a tributary of the Nestucca River.”
If you determine to travel this way, be sure to follow USFS Trail Technician, JW Cleveland, who offered: “Watch your step! It is slick and wet and steep. So, wear proper footwear and rain gear because you never know when something could blow in.”
A foot of rain has drenched the heart of the Oregon coast range the past four weeks so the forest, the creek and the falls are wringing wet. Get here soon.
Directions: Drive Hwy 101 south from Tillamook to Beaver, Oregon. Then travel east on Blaine Road for 6 miles. At Blaine Junction travel east on Upper Nestucca River Road for 5.8 miles to Forest Service Road 8533. Go south 4.3 miles to Forest Service Road 8533-131. Turn right at the junction and travel 0.7 miles to trailhead parking.
About the Author: Grant McOmie
Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.