When Courtney McConaghy and Jason Heller took a rafting trip down the chilly waters of Oregon's McKenzie River recently, their guide pointed out a hot-spring pool that lay right beside the river. Intrigued, and chilled from the 40-degree water, they returned to the springs that evening for a warm soak.
"The river is 40, and this is about 90," Heller said as the pair, on vacation from California, relaxed and chatted in the rocky, fern-draped pool known as Deer Creek Hot Springs, with the whitewater river tumbling beside them.
Geothermal activity and heavy winter snowfall combine to pepper Oregon's mountains with hot springs and the waterfalls that gave the Cascade Range its name. And many of both are easily accessible via beautiful forest hikes, making this the perfect destination for a water-and-walking trip.
The biggest concentration of hot springs and waterfalls hikes lies in the Cascade Mountains and foothills between Mount Hood and Crater Lake, and the McKenzie River area provides one of the best combinations.
The 26-mile McKenzie River National Recreation Trail is popular with mountain bikers and hikers (access points along the trail allow hikers to pop in and out for shorter segments). It follows the McKenzie River, home to Deer Creek Hot Springs as well as nearby Belknap Hot Springs, a developed resort with lodging and swimming pools.
Terwilliger Hot Springs
Just to the south of the McKenzie is Terwilliger Hot Springs, a relatively undeveloped multipool spring near Cougar Reservoir. The popular springs are at the end of a pretty half-mile hike from the reservoir's edge.
Terwilliger is owned by the U.S. Forest Service, which contracts with a private outfit to lightly manage the site (as with many hot springs owned by the Forest Service, there's a $5 fee to enter). "Our focus has been to try to make it a family-friendly spot," said Judy McHugh, a Forest Service spokeswoman.
It follows the McKenzie River, home to Deer Creek Hot Springs as well as nearby Belknap Hot Springs, a developed resort with lodging and swimming pools. Just to the south of the McKenzie is Terwilliger Hot Springs, a relatively undeveloped multipool
On subsequent voyages, one already knows what to expect, but when one first approaches an island, especially an undeveloped island which also happens to be a bad-@$$ wildlife sanctuary, the island itself looms large in all its mystery and natural
Any hiker will tell you that the trail makes the experience. Hiking along the most beautiful and challenging trails are the hiking hobbyist\’s dream. One of the benefits of hiking is that there are many countries, states, and islands that cater to the hiker through beautifully unique trails. Where do you want to go for your next hiking trip? This guide lists the top five places for hiking that will challenge even the most experienced hiker. Whether you\’re a beginner or an expert, these hiking trails can bring an appreciation towards nature\’s beauty.
Breakneck Ridge Trail
Breakneck Ridge is located in New York along the Hudson River. The mountain trail is part of the Appalachian Mountains, so it\’s filled with lush, green forests and rivers. The mountain has several peeks and plateaus to choose for your hiking destination. The highest summit for experienced hikers is 1,260 feet. To begin, most hikers choose the white route up the western side of the mountain. The steep, rocky climb to the summit gives a challenging hike with breathtaking views of the forest and rivers below it.
Glacier Gorge is filled with multiple hiking trails for beginners and experts. Its location in the Rocky Mountains National Park makes it perfect for all kinds of scenery including rivers, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and animals. Choose from hiking trails from all directions around the scenic gorge. Beginner trails are available at low levels that are relatively short. The trails are perfect for family and small children. If you consider yourself up for the challenge of a more expert level, Glacier Gorge offers demanding hiking trails that require excellent physical fitness and acclimation to high levels.
Appalachian Trail: The Pinnacle
Located in Humberg, Pennsylvania, The Pinnacle trail is also a part of the Appalachian Mountains. The trail gives views of scenic mountains and rivers along the way. Not far from the Pinnacle Trail is the Hamburg Dam for a breathtaking view of mother nature and technology tied into one. Weather can be mostly rainy and humid, which allows a more advanced hike for those who like the challenge of fighting the elements.