Nancy and I could remember one picnic at Cascadia State Park. It was in the summer of 1987 when my daughter Lisa was an infant.
We’ve stopped there a few other times on the way back from Hoodoo and Central Oregon to stretch and use the restroom.
On Monday, we were looking for a new place to hike so we decided to head out to Cascadia. The park is 43 miles from our house in Albany, and we made it there in 58 minutes.
The place is gorgeoous. In addition to 25 first-come, first-served campsites, it has lots of picnic tables, two reservable group picnic areas, two reservable group tent areas, a large field and trees everywhere.
It also has the South Santiam River. When we were there, the temperature was in the mid-70s and just a few people were swimming in the cold water. Today, as the temperature pushes into the 90s, there will be throngs of people wanting to cool off.
We walked east along the River Trail about a mile, admiring the forest with ferns and old-growth firs. We were told later that if we had hiked a bit further, we would have seen the historic Cascadia Cave. Oh well, next time.
We hiked back to the park then took another trail north to Soda Creek Falls (about three-quarters of a mile.) We stopped long enough to enjoy the view and for me to get a photo of Nancy by the falls.
We’re ready for the next trip to Cascadia — maybe Labor Day — and we’re glad we finally gave the park a closer look.