Lunch along North Fork Middle Fork Willamette

The trail name = North Fork of Middle Fork Willamette River. (All Trails). Our hike was 4 great friends walking up river about 5 miles finding a great place on the river for lunch and then returning. The late June day was cooler with some clouds, and when we started from the trailhead, mountain bikers (MTB) were loading up shuttles to the top of Alpine Trail (All Trails). Clouds came in later but temperatures were perfect – but too cold to swim (and there are some GREAT swimming holes).

Trail conditions

A couple of muddy spots but they were easily navigated around and over on rocks; my shoes never had mud above the sole. There was not 1 blowdown blocking the trail, and most of the trail is soft forest duff. The only challenge some of us had was tripping on tree roots. Trail was fast! We met 1 other hiker pair, 1 fly fisher person, and 2 MTB riders and their 2 dogs. Perfect!

The hike

North Fork trail starts at the Covered Bridge city park – just a wonderful place. We left the trailhead around 9:00 in full sun.

Along the river, the forest doesn’t change much in those 5 miles. We did see something rather novel – I cannot remember seeing others like this.

Some of the trail wanders 50-75 yards from the river, but we never left the river’s roar – yes, the North Fork has very few ‘quiet’ spots. Getting down to the river’s edge is not always easy, but there are paths where convenient to good places – especially fishing holes. We met 1 fisher person cruising the bank gear in-hand. Our lunch spot was right at the end of a calm spot with rapids around the bend. (Up river to the left, down to the right)

The best parts of tourist hiking are spending time with friends in the woods, and taking the time to capture beautiful things that maybe missed when hiking faster.

After hiking, we had another bite of food and beer at 3-legged Crane and met the some of the same bikers after they rode 20 miles down Alpine trail.

Data Geek Corner

Hike was mostly flat, about 9 miles in total, and we stopped about 30 minutes for lunch. (Recorded track)

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