Breathtaking views after a rain-forest trail.
Location: Cascade Head Trail head is located just a few miles off Hwy 101.
From Downtown Salem, take Hwy 22 west over the Marion St. Bridge. Follow Hwy 22 for 26 miles. Continue straight onto Hwy 18 for another 25 miles. Take the exit right onto Old Hwy 101 towards Tillamook. Stay on Hwy 101 for 1.3 miles and turn left onto Three Rocks Rd. After 2 miles turn left (just after Savage Road) and turn into Knights Park Parking Lot.
From Newport, travel north on Hwy 101 and turn left onto Three Rocks Road, 1.4 miles after the turn-off towards Salem/Portland. Follow Three Rocks Road for 2 miles and turn left into Knights Park Parking lot.
Difficulty: 3/5 Uphill all the way out for 2 miles with lots of stairs
Kid Friendly: Yes. Some of the stairs are spaced high and can be challenging for smaller legs to climb up, however, my 4 yr old walked the whole way and both my older kids loved it. The 2 yr old walked for about 1/2 mile and then spent the rest of the time in the backpack.
Stroller Accessible: No. There are so many stairs and tree-roots along this path that a stroller would be almost impossible!!
Description: This is a 2 mile out and 2 mile back hike before it turns into another hike. However, depending on who you talk to or which book you read, this trail can be upwards of 6.4 miles, meaning both hikes are blended. However, the beginning of the trail is both the same. My kids went two miles up and we saw the lower, you can continue though. The trail crosses a couple of roads and travels along side the road for about 3/4 mile. Keep your kids close during those times.
After parking at Knights Park Parking Lot, you’ll travel north out of the parking lot along a small bridge and a sign marking the beginning of the trail. This trail is very well marked, except for one area. Follow the path for about 1/4 mile before you cross Three Rocks Rd. (Marked by signs) Follow this path for another 1/2 mile before crossing the road near Sitka Center, also marked by signs. Walk past the Cascade Head Condos and continue the trail along the road. Go down the hill until you see the Cascade Head National Parks sign (on the opposite side of the road). Cross the road and head on up the trail. It is a steep climb up the stairs and around tree roots. This path continues for another mile and a bit.
As you are about 3/4 miles up the trail, you’ll notice two large trees (There are lots of these 🙂 ) however, there is a small trail off to the left (blocked slightly by small broken down logs) and there is also a continuation of the main trail but you won’t see it well due to the large trees that are blocking it. The trail to the left is the wrong trail and will go steeply down a hill. You’ll notice metal stakes that say Property Boundary (yes, we went down this wrong way, and quickly realized so we walked right back up) Just be aware and follow the correct trail.
There are smaller green arrows marking the trail (other than the previously mentioned part) which is really nice. We were also lucky enough to spot a couple of garden snakes, chipmunks, many centipedes and a few deer. This land is protected due to endangered plants that grow here. Dogs are not allowed.
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