The 7 best hiking trails for springtime

Last week, the Emerald stopped by the University of Oregon Outdoor Program to talk about new hiking spots with outdoor experts Molly Monahan, Jake Sandblom and Emma Juth. It’s time to step up your selfie game and take on something other than Spencer Butte.

1. Mount Pisgah — 3.5 miles

Known for its beautiful view at the top and moderate hike to get there. Like any hike worth taking, the true reward is at the end on the hilltop overlooking the valley. On a sunny day, this is the place to be. The drive is short and the start is relatively close to campus.

2. Trail of Ten Falls — 8.7 miles

This hike boasts 10 waterfalls in under ten miles. The trail should take about two hours to complete depending on how much time you spend in the water. Juth said that it is a great experience walking behind the different waterfalls and swimming in the pools.

3. McKenzie River Trail — 24.4 miles

Most hikers won’t hike the full trail in one day, but you can bike it. Whether it be a few miles during the day or an overnight adventure, the McKenzie River Trail holds beautiful views and the famous “Blue Pools” to admire and swim in.

4. Eagle’s Rest — 4.4 miles

This trail is perfect for getting a real feel for the Oregon woods. The old growth and thick tree line demonstrate the rich heritage of the forest and its wildlife. The hike is fairly easy until a short hill at the end, but Monahan said it feels like you are truly secluded for a few moments in the environment.

5. Goodman Creek Trail — 4 miles

If you are looking to go for a hike, but not interested in working up a terrible sweat, this is the right choice. It is rated easy to moderate, but perfect for a getaway when schoolwork hits and your mom is pressuring you to get that internship over the summer. The trail ends in a beautiful bridge crossing the creek and it is very family friendly.

6. Waldo Lake Trail — 10.6 miles

You may want to pack your larger canteen for this one. The hike is rated difficult, but the lake’s beauty can’t be unseen. Waldo Lake Trail may be one of the harder hikes, but those who survive it boast the trip was well worth it.

7. Kentucky Falls Trail — 4.4 miles

The trail has two beautiful waterfalls where hikers stop to enjoy the view and a bite to eat. The notoriously difficult ride there keeps crowds away so it is best to have an inside take on the best way to get there. Sandblom recommended hikers come speak to the outdoor program before embarking on this particular trail because they have great tips on finding it.

More information about these trails and many more can be found at and the University of Oregon Outdoor Program website. The Outdoor program offers rentals on hiking gear, outdoor sports equipment and GoPros to document your next adventure.

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Ally Taylor

Ally Taylor