Yesterday’s Sunday adventure led us to a popular place: Sweet Creek Falls near Mapleton, Oregon. It is easily quite clear to see why so many people praise this lovely place. It’s about an hour and fifteen minute drive from Eugene. As soon as you open your car door at the trailhead you are greeted by the sound of rushing, cascading water. Like most places in Western Oregon, you are surrounded by trees. Big trees. And the trees are covered in moss. The ground and the walls of the gorge play host to a myriad of ferns and vines. Being in an Oregon forest is truly like being in a fairytale. Everything is green. Green and vibrant and alive. The water here is clear as it rushes over rocks and down drop-offs and spills from the rocks. Where pools of it collect, it is a blue, opaque painting, reflecting the surrounding forest.
We arrived around noon on Sunday and there were people already there. We began at the Homestead Trailhead and hiked only to Sweet Creek Falls, about 1.1 miles to the falls and the same back. The hike is easy, being fairly flat and well-maintained. There are a multitude of places to stop and relax or take photos. The forest service website for this trail says you will see eleven waterfalls. I didn’t count but believe it. The hike follows one giant, lazy cascade with several notable larger falls. There were still parts of the trail that were frosty and slick into the afternoon but that just comes with winter.
This is definitely a great day hike. Next time I’d like to complete the whole trail and go to Beaver Creek Falls. Has anyone else visited this beautiful place?