King’s Mountain

Be ready for a workout with this hike! (5 miles round trip) I knew it was going to be steep but it was a long exhausting haul to the top. We took a lot of breaks, and Hamilton wisely sat this one out.

Directions: Just an hour from Portland, take highway 26 towards the coast. Veer left on highway 6 towards Tillamook. About 25 miles in is the trailhead. No fees!

This is where the view would have been:

Giant leaf!

We picked a very cloudy cold day for this hike which was great to be in the mist, but we missed out on the fantastic view at the top.

Bethany and me at the summit:


Salmonberry Trail

This was a very odd, charming hike; and off the beaten path, so bonus points there! This hike follows the Port of Tillamook Bay railroad. We drove through Timber, then up some forest service roads to get to our starting point. (No official trailhead or fees)

The very beginning of the hike passes a tranquil little pond.

The trail continues on the railroad track and eventually leads to a tunnel that reminded me of a scene from Walking Dead. The creepiest part was entering the tunnel since you couldn’t see a light at the end. It quickly turns however to reveal the light; we made it through!

After exiting the tunnel we came to a giant trestle. I didn’t feel adventurous enough to walk over it with Hammy so we turned back.

Hobbit Beach to Heceta Head Lighthouse


This hike is pure magic. When I heard there was a place in Oregon called Hobbit beach I knew I would have to check it out and it did not disappoint! 

The trailhead is located just outside of Florence on Hwy 101. You have to pull out on a small gravel parking lot, then cross the highway. (No fees)

Follow the short trail to the right first to take you to Hobbit beach. (Watch out for orcs)

Hobbit beach:

Follow the path back the way you came to the main sign and take the trail the other way to Heceta Head lighthouse. This part is pretty steep but there are some great ocean views.

Once you reach the lighthouse you can go inside to warm up and may even catch a free tour to learn about the history.

When you finish enjoying the views you head back the way you came to the gravel parking lot. 

This was one of my favorite Oregon hikes!

Drift Creek Falls

This was a bucket list hike of mine. It was a nice 3 mile round trip, but a little crowded due to its popularity.

The trail is open year round and there is a $5 fee at the trailhead or NW nature pass.

Hamilton wasnt so sure about the suspension bridge. Be warned it does sway a bit as you cross it. 😳

After the hike we drove in to Lincoln City for some clam chowder. Post-hike chowder is one of my favorite things about coastal hikes!

Trappist Abbey

Hike from Sept. 24, 2017: Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey offers a tranquil 4 mile loop in the woods with views of the Willamette Valley. We stopped in the guest house for a map of the grounds and started up the hill. We were told to stay on the main road, since the side roads were not maintained and had a lot of poison oak.

Where is it? In Lafayette. Link to the map below:

Trappist Abbey


The most enjoyable part of this walk was the quiet. We passed a few runners, but mostly had the trail to ourselves.


At the end of our walk we stopped back in to the guesthouse and talked with Brother Martin, who it turns out is friends with my Aunt Marilyn! He offered us lunch and told us he became a monk when he was 25. He is 92 now. He said, “You don’t have to be 92 to realize life is a gift.” The hospitality and peace of Trappist Abbey was very evident. No matter what your religious views are you are welcome there; it’s as simple as that. I’m glad I had a chance to explore this happy patch of Oregon.



Bloom Lake

This was the perfect quick and easy hike for a Sunday; one that could be managed with a baby and a lazy dog. (3.4 mile lollipop loop)

Directions: From Portland take Hwy 26 44 miles towards the coast. The trail head is on the left just before Quartz Creek Bridge. It was only a 45 minute drive!

The first part of the hike is a slow steady incline passing mossy trees and a little duck pond.


There were tons of salamanders in the trail too, watch your step!


The trail is an old logging road in a secondary forest. There are some giant stumps along the way from trees that were logged years ago.


Once you reach a trail sign, you take the path to the right to get to the edge of the lake.


After some time at the lake we headed back to the start. On the way back we saw this tree that a beaver had been working on:



When we finished the hike there were only 5 cars at the trail head. It was nice to find a more secluded destination. 🙂