As I near the end of my pregnancy, hiking is one of the few activities that still gets my heart rate going, leaves my muscles sore, and satisfies the soul.
Silver Falls State Park is a place I had been to a few times before in high school and college with friends and family. There is a half marathon here every fall that I hope to someday do, but it sells out in about 20 minutes each year.
The park is often packed on the weekends, so whenever I think about making the journey there for a hike, I dismiss it. Well, now that my schedule is much more flexible, a weekday hike seemed perfect for exploring the falls.
Elizabeth and I met up around noon on Friday at the north parking lot and chatted away for the entire 8.7 mile Trail of Ten Falls loop, enjoying the warmth and beautiful scenery.
As she works as an instructor of public health and is a newly minted licensed massage therapist who loves the outdoors, we had a lot in common to chat about.
Looking through the falls
By the end of the three hours, it felt like little time had passed and there was much more we could talk about. I love those kinds of conversations.
I will say that while the trail is moderate with some inclines, this preggo was definitely a little sore by the last few miles. As I've mentioned, the ligaments on the lower half of the belly get sore from doing all that work for a few hours straight.
Consequently, I drove straight to the nearest gas station and grabbed some coconut water and fig newtons to refuel a bit (in addition to the snacks I had with me) before heading on to Eugene.
Note for visitors: Parking is $5 and can be paid via cash or check. Here is a link to the trail map, but there should also be copies at the trailheads. Restrooms are available at the North Falls parking lot as well as the South Falls day-use area, which includes the lodge and main parking lot as well as a picnic area. The drive from Eugene or Portland is about 1 hr 40 min.
For more sightseeing, stop at the Gordon House, a Frank Lloyd Wright house that is nearby and open for tours.