A nice hike, with cows and all….
Location: Just off Hwy 22 in Stayton, Oregon. Follow Hwy 22 east of Salem. Turn left on Fern Ridge Road. There are two Fern Ridge Road exits. If you are coming from Salem, take the second Fern Ridge Road Exit. The first one will lead you the long way to the parking lot of the hike, the second one is more direct.
Difficulty: 2/5 if you are just going to the first falls.
Kid Friendly: Yes, yes, yes. Except for the stairs can be a little tricky but my kids loved this one.
Stroller Accessible: This hike would be good for a stroller up to the point of the stairs. With the stairs and after the stairs, it becomes difficult, especially as the path narrows quite a bit.
Description: From the parking lot, walk up the hill for about 1/4 miles, you will reach a large open field with lots of cows. You will walk right through the cow pasture. Some cows are behind a fence, and some are not. Enjoy the cows, they are so sweet!!!
Continue on through the cows, you will travel over about 4 grates to make sure the cows don’t escape. Walk another half mile or so after the cows and you will come to a little stream travelling under the path. Look to the right and you’ll see a large waterfall, you can travel a little past that and see it further. But on the left you’ll see a sign that will direct you to the falls. Take that up the stairs and it will be a narrow path, but in about 1/4 mile you’ll see the falls directly ahead. You can travel the path down across a log or stay on the upper path.
There are many options for this hike. This is where we stopped and turned around as our kids had enough by then and they wanted to go back and see the cows.
I also brought our dog with us, this is a dog-friendly trail, however, I wouldn’t recommend it due to the cows. My dog wanted to go and “play” with the cows. So, if your dog is well trained, then by all means, go for it.