Many little trails with lots of water to play in!!
Location: Bear Creek is located up North Fork Rd, in Mehama, OR. Take Hwy 22 east of Salem, OR, for 23 miles. Turn left onto North Fork Rd. This road is located just before a bridge shortly after the sign pointing towards Mehama & Lyons on the right. If you’ve made it to Mill City, you’ve gone too far. Take North Fork Rd for approximately 8 miles. Bear Creek Park entrance is located on the left side of the road. Please be aware that this is a one-way road. Entrance is first as you’re travelling up North Fork Rd. The exit is a little further up the road. As you enter the park, turn right past the signs and park in any of the parking lots along the left side of the road.
Difficulty: 1/5-3/5 There is an ADA accessible path, very short. However, most of the trails are full of steep inclines and declines, lots of trees and roots in the path, and rocks!!
Kid Friendly: I would say depending on your child, 5 or older would have fun with this. My 4 yr old didn’t like the steep hills much but once we got on the rocks and near the water, he had a great time. 2 yr old was in the backpack. Not suitable for him to be walking too much on. But, like I said, totally depends on your child!!
Strollers: I’m sure strollers would have no problem on the ADA Accessible trail, however, the rest of the trails wouldn’t fair well for a stroller.
Description: Bear Creek is an interesting, beautiful area. I would definitely recommend bringing a swimsuit, towel and any other swimming gear you need. The river can get quite deep and is crystal blue, you can almost see all the way to the bottom. There are many places along the river that is fun to just splash around in without swimming gear.
As far as the trails go, there are many small trails that you can turn into longer hikes, however, with the kids wanting to be near the water and playing in the water, we didn’t get as much hiking in as I’d like to.
This is a camp ground. Camping overnight costs $14 per campsite and $5 per vehicle. For day use only, it is free. There are quite a few campsites so be aware that the trails you may take, could possibly lead you to someone’s campsite.
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We tried making boats out of sticks, grass and whatever else we could find. This has become a fun tradition we do at rivers.