Giving Up on Your New Year’s Resolution Already? Take a Hike!

Have you dropped your New Year’s resolution yet? Apparently National Quitters day was sometime last week. I used to know it well. I think that’s because I used to set too many resolutions, particularly resolutions that I didn’t really want to keep (e.g. stop eating carbs) or ones that were pretty much unattainable (e.g. get a book published).

Now I resolve to do more of the things I already like. Last year, I read one book a week. This year, I’m going on one hike every week.

So, let’s play catch up. These are the three hikes that I’ve done so far in 2019. I promise, this batch is so easy that even the most novice hiker could conquer them.

Week 1: Canby Logging Road Trail

Location: Seriously, guys, it’s in the name

Distance: Negotiable

This was my work-and-the-holidays-have-me-really-pressed-for-time-so-let’s-do-a-quick-one hike. It was also a good chance to check out a walking/biking path that I always knew existed, but had never actually been on before.

Pros: Paved. Easy for walkers/runners of all ages and skill level. You can adjust the length of the walk by starting at different points like Eco Park, Territorial Road, Baker Prairie Middle School and Trost Elementary School. Nice views of the Willamette River.

Cons: It’s in town, so it doesn’t really feel like a hike. I’m also guessing it gets pretty crowded when the weather is nice (even on a drizzly day in January, there were a decent number of other people on the trail).

Week 2: Shellburg Falls

Location: Just east of Stayton. From Highway 22, turn left on Fern Ridge Road. Continue up until you see a tiny parking lot. Even in January, this hike is popular enough that my sister and I had to park on the side of the road and walk to the trailhead.

Distance: Just under 3 miles round trip to the falls

Pros: Pretty waterfall. Easy hike for all ages. Well maintained trail. Not a ton of elevation gain. You walk on a gravel road for a while, past pastures and private property (the “No Trespassing” signs nailed to every other tree will make sure you don’t forget), then veer into the woods, and eventually make a short ascent to the falls. You can walk down to a lower viewpoint and/or walk behind the waterfall (warning: You will get sprayed, and it is super muddy).

Cons: It’s a long drive for a short hike. We only did it because it was on our way to Detroit Lake. I could also see this trail being extremely crowded during the spring and summer.

Week 3: Champoeg State Park

Location: Just west of Aurora. About a 20 minute drive from Canby. Park by the Visitor Center and start the trail there.

Distance: Variable. About 3.4 miles if you do the loop hike.

Pros: Close to Canby. Mostly paved with some wood chip trails here and there. Takes you through beautiful trees and alongside the Willamette.

Cons: Still a bit urban for my taste. You can hear cars from most places on the trail. You have to pay $5 to park.

So there you have it. My first three hikes of 2019. Check back in for weekly additions. Now get outdoors!

 

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