March on North Fork Middle Fork Willamette River

Say that 3 times really fast! The north fork of the middle fork … the river was raging after last week’s snow and this week’s temperatures in the 70s. This trail starts at the Covered Bridge Park in Westfir, and is a wonderful ‘river walk’. I arrived at the park around 8:00 and a completely empty parking lot as the sun rose above the ridge. I hiked this last year too.

This trailhead is shared with Alpine MTB trail, so expected MTBs. I love this little city park, and the North Fork is a relaxing river-side jaunt.

Along the river

The trail changes from following the river bank to climbing the ridge above the river to avoid obstacles. A couple of the climbs will get your heart pumping, but nothing too intense. North Fork flips back and forth between lazy and raging.

Green, green and more green. Most of the early part of the trail, closer to the TH, the path winds through almost rainforest ecosystems.

Some flowers

A few flowers were early, just poking out; fungi were very few.


There were 3 bridge to cross over side streams crashing into the river. A fourth bridge was completely destroyed and presented a unique challenge. Oddly, the perfect condition bridge with the leaves was the most dangerous – slippery, almost fell.

This bridge was two piles of logs, a small ravine, and a rope hanging from the far side. A hiker pulls themselves up w/ the rope, or lets themselves down. Wasn’t hard or dangerous, just an odd sight.

The Route

Started at Covered Bridge park and walked up-river. There are two forest road bridges to pass (not cross) and then around 6 miles from trailhead, the destroyed bridge. Past the destroyed bridge the path is not maintained and I was stepping over blowdowns regularly. The trail also got a bit boring afterwards meandering through the river’s floodplain. I turned around.