|Location: Suislaw National
Forest, near Tillamook, Oregon
Access: From Beaver on Hwy 101, drive east on Blaine Rd 6.7 miles. The road forks at Blaine Rd Junction. Take the left (east) fork and drive east on the Upper Nestucca River Rd for 5.0 miles, then turn south on FR 8533 and drive 4.2 miles. At FR 8533-131, turn right and drive 0.7 miles to the TH.
Trail: Easy to Moderate, well-marked. 2-miles round-trip.
Dogs: Apparently allowed without restrictions
August 12, 2007
Andra and I hiked this trail in August 2007 in a steady light rain. Being Oregon, we were prepared for this. We donned our rainjackets at the car in an empty trailhead turnout and headed down the trail through a typical dense canopy of hemlocks and spruces, all laden with velvety moss. Sword ferns lined the trail, and everything was dripping wet. The short trail lost elevation gradually and soon we rounded a bend and were confronted with Pheasant Falls. Being August, even with the rain, the falls were barely running. A steady trickle of water fell 100 feet or so from the rocks above, and I can see where in the spring this would be pretty impressive. Likewise for Niagara Falls, just 50 meters down the trail. We stopped at the picnic bench in the clearing at the end of the trail and watched the water fall down the cliff face at Niagara Falls. I was just as enamored with watching the thousands of fern leaves shift and sway in the light rain. The clouds bring out the green in the forest, and these woods have so much green to begin with that in rainy weather the green is almost overwhelming. The hike back involved treading uphill, and soon we were sweating inside our rainjackets. Andra found a nice dry spot on a wooden bridge beneath a massive spruce where we sat and cooled off, and dried off…a little. A mist hung in the air, and water droplets seemed to coat almost every surface. I have a terrarium at home filled with mosses and ferns collected from Oregon woods, and the glass is almost constantly fogged up from the inside due to the humidity. Inside, everything is dripping and damp, and the plants love it. On this hike I felt as if I was hiking right through the terrarium. With our stops and relaxations on the trail, it took us about 2 hours to get back to the car.
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