Discriminating Hiking

March 23, 2020

Temporary rules

Our Oregon governor hasn’t ordered us to stay home. She recommends it, but it’s not mandatory as of this writing.

So I was able to go for a hike  with a clear conscience.

If you are able, getting out hiking accomplishes several good things. Fresh air, exercise, and an appreciation of God’s great creation all contribute to our physical, mental, and emotional health.

If your state allows a little freedom despite the pandemic, here is what I recommend as to hiking with discretion:

  1. Stay away from popular trails and seek out the less known, less traveled trails.

  2. If you see another hiker approaching, simply step off the trail and into the woods about 6’ and let them pass.

  3. Get out there early, which is another way to avoid crowds.



That’s what I did this morning (3/23). As it happened, I saw no other hikers in the whole 2 hours.


Here’s the story.

Sandy River Trail #770

This time of year, FS road #1825 is closed at the bridge. I parked at the bridge and hiked up the road ½ mile to the trailhead.


This is a good trail and easy walking. You won’t need a walking stick or hiking poles. There are several little side trails down to a creek that is running high this time of year, so keep little kids close.


If you forgot or run out of toilet paper, this fairly soft lichen that looks like Spanish Moss will work just fine, and it's a common sight in these woods.


After ½ mile, the trail crosses FS road 1825. I spotted one of the most unusual tree formations I've ever seen:

Here's a little video of what the trail is like:

Again, if you have little kids, keep them close. The trail goes close to a big bluff that could be very dangerous.


The light rain started changing to snow flurries and sticking to the trail.


The trail was now following the Sandy River. The alders are an aftermath of deposits laid down by massive flooding in the past.



Junction with Ramona Falls trail

It’s about 1.5 miles to the junction with the trail to Ramona Falls.


The Ramona Falls trail is very popular, and I had planned to avoid it, but since there were no other hikers, I continued past the junction about 1 mile, up to the crossing of the Sandy River. There used to be a little bridge here, but it was swept away quite a few years ago. However, there are lots of trees that have fallen across, making natural bridges, so you don’t have to wade.



The elevation at the crossing is about 2600’, and the snow was starting to stick.


I’m thinking this would be a nice 7 mile round trip hike to take my granddaughter on, if the governor doesn’t lock us down.



I’m thinking this would be a nice 7 mile round trip hike to take my granddaughter on, if the governor doesn’t lock us down.

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