A new season is upon us, and things are starting to look different very quickly. It’s important to take a moment to notice the changing colors and enjoy being outside before winter is thrust upon us again; something that always seems to happen more suddenly than we’d like. For those looking to make the most out of the special transitional season that we call Fall, here are five easy to moderate hikes in the area that are perfect for an October day.
Oak Creek to Dimple Hill
Only a 15-minute drive from town, this is a great moderate hike with some awesome views. It’s a 2.9-mile loop with a fairly substantial elevation gain of 987 feet, offering a perfect opportunity to get some exercise and see some nature without taking up your whole afternoon. It’s known for being less muddy than other routes to Dimple Hill.
This is a popular hike, but by no means overrated. Those who choose to mount Mary’s Peak can enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Cascades; wonders that look just as beautiful in the fall as they do in the spring and summer. Mary’s Peak is about a 40-minute drive west of town in the Siuslaw National Forest. Hikers should be ready for an uphill climb—there’s a 1,502-foot elevation gain and the trail is 5.2 miles out and back. We promise the view will be worth it.
Alsea and Green Peak Falls
Though it’s marked “easy” on AllTrails at 2.8 miles out and back and only a 423-foot elevation gain, this hike is super rewarding. Hikers can see not just one, but two dramatic waterfalls, and it’s only an hour-long drive from Corvallis. This trail is highly trafficked in the summer, when many folks swim in the swimming holes at the foot of the falls; it’s much quieter in the colder months. Rumor has it that those who choose this trail should look out for wasps—they also enjoy this trail, and they’re not too eager to share it.
Mill Hill Loop Trail
Located just 20 minutes from town in the Finley National Wildlife Refuge, this trail is a lightly trafficked, easy 3-mile loop. It’s almost completely flat so hikers can relax and enjoy their peaceful surroundings, including a variety of wild flowers. For this one we suggest that folks wear shoes they don’t mind getting a little muddy.
Willamette River Path
Last but not least: the trail that’s closest to home and, unbeknownst to most residents of Corvallis, an ideal route in the Kendall Natural Area for those who wish to avoid crowds and experience nature close to the city. Only a 5-minute drive from downtown, the Willamette River Path has loads of beaches to check out and a ton of fall foliage to gaze upon. People who take this route can choose between biking, walking, or running. Overall, this is a great place to go if you want to enjoy the outdoors without having to drive too far or climb a summit.
For specific locations and other information, visit http://www.alltrails.com/ and search up any spot that sounds good!
By Maria DeHart