It rains a lot in Oregon. A lot. At the beginning of summer you’ll see lots of bright white people walking around outside. (It’s an almost blinding effect.) There is an eagerness in the air to spend the entirety of summer (if at all possible) out-of-doors, trying to get some of our color back.

We have regular date nights scheduled around these parts because while we love being with our kids, time away just the two of us is important. This summer we’ve been trying to hit up new-to-us places and explore the outdoors while drinking in some sunshine. A few weeks ago we spent a date night hiking around Cascadia State Park.

Cascadia State Park has much to offer in the way of outdoor adventures. You can camp, swim, fish or relax in pretty much any manner you like. They have relatively few campsites available (all of which are offered on a first come, first served basis) which makes the place feel private and secluded. We liked that very much.

There is some pleasant hiking available at the park and that was what we were after this one fine evening. We opted to check out the Lower Soda Creek Waterfall Trail which is marked as an “easy” 2.1 mile hike. All things considered, it is easy. The trail is nicely maintained. We didn’t see any poison oak (a huge consideration for us!). The path is entirely shaded which makes for a rather relaxing meander through the woods. There is some slight elevation gain but it is rather minimal.

DSC_1485

If you hike to the top of the trail, you will be rewarded with a view of Lower Soda Creek Falls. In the height of summer there isn’t an enormous amount of water pouring down, but enough to feel some effect of the beautiful surroundings.

DSC_1491

We had plenty of time left over after seeing the falls so we made our way down to the South Santiam River and gazed at the fantastic rock formations for quite awhile. Nothing like cooling off your feet in the river after a hike, no matter the length!

DSC_1520

DSC_1558

DSC_1561

DSC_1566

It was a gorgeous evening out!

If you are looking for a great day trip spot or an evening hike to a new location, check out Cascadia State Park’s website and make a plan to go! You’ll likely enjoy yourselves.