Five local hikes to celebrate National Take a Hike Day

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Jordan Worthington, Staff Writer

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Beginning as a trailblazing activity to discover new wonders, hiking is now one of the most popular American pastimes. Whether you need to clear your head, get some exercise or take a study break, National Take a Hike Day, on Nov. 17, is a great one to take advantage of this week. Across the nation, there are more than 60,000 miles of hiking trails, and there are plenty to explore around McMinnville for adventurous Linfield students. 

Five hikes near McMinnville are described below, ranging in difficulty. Included in this, three Linfield students were able to share their favorites and why they would recommend them to other students. 

1. Cathedral Tree Trail 

For a day with more free time than normal, junior Nara Van de Grift recommends her favorite hike, Cathedral Tree Trail, located in her hometown of Astoria, Ore. It’s only 1.6 miles round trip and would take under two hours to complete. 

“It leads up to the highest point in Astoria where you can oversee the whole town and the Astoria column,” she said.  

Although the hike is about two hours north of McMinnville, the trip is well worth it. Sightseeing is also a popular activity in Astoria, which could be done before or after the hike. The town is famous for being home to the set of the 1985 film The Goonies. Visitors can see the jailhouse, The Goonies house and the Flavel House Museum along with several other famous locations from the film. 

2. Drift Creek Falls

Junior Emma Sammartino recommends another beginner hike at Drift Creek Falls, located near Lincoln City, Ore. It’s usually pretty popular, so hikers may need to be prepared for a crowd. A 3.2 mile round trip with only 541 ft. of elevation, this hike earns an easy rating. 

“Drift Creek Falls is really cool because of the suspension bridge,” she said. This bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Oregon, at 240 ft. long. However, if heights are not a favorite amongst the group, this might be a hike to avoid. Dogs can also come along on this hike if they’re kept on a leash.  

3. Silver Fall Canyon Trail

Senior Maggie Smith recommends the Silver Falls Canyon Trail, located near Silverton, Ore. This hike is only one hour from campus and would be perfect for a quick trip. It is also more of a moderate level hike, so hikers experience more of an ascent than they would with a beginner level. About 5.6 miles round trip, this hike takes around three hours to complete. 

“This hike does not have a super steep incline, and is also fun to do with friends. We even walked underneath the waterfall,” she said. 

On the hiking loop, there is an amazing view of the falls which is a popular place to take pictures with friends. There is also a longer version of this hike nearby, called Trail of Ten Falls if hikers are looking for more of a challenge. This version is nine miles round trip and usually takes around four and a half hours.  

Silver Falls State Park is a popular destination, offering ten waterfalls throughout the park. (Katie Phillips)

4. Angel’s Rest

The next hike near McMinnville is Angel’s Rest, a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked trail near Corbett, Ore. that features a waterfall. This trail is only one hour and 15 minutes from McMinnville, near Mount Hood National Forest. It is rated as a moderate hike, but without a super steep elevation gain. The view is well worth the work to climb, with 360 degree views of the Columbia River Gorge and Portland’s Northern Metro. On a clear day, Mount St. Helens and Mount Baker can also be seen from here. 

5. Multnomah Falls

The last popular hike near McMinnville is Multnomah Falls, located along the Columbia River Highway in Bridal Veil, Ore. A 2.4 mile round trip and only one and a half hours from McMinnville, this moderate hike is not one to miss. Home to Oregon’s tallest waterfall, this is the most popular recreation site in the Pacific Northwest. There may be a crowd, so it would be best to arrive early. 

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For all of these hikes, be sure to double-check online to see if any closures have been made before you go. A first-time hiker may not have the proper footwear, but athletic shoes are highly recommended to avoid discomfort or injury. A small bag with snacks and water bottles is also very helpful to have, as breaks are often taken midway through the trails. 

The next time you need a mental recharge and have some extra time, grab a few friends and head out to one of these trails to celebrate National Take a Hike Day!