With the change of season, comes a change of hobby for yours truly. Being in the PNW, there is no shortage of trails and parks to explore. Oregon’s extensive network of County, State, and National parks are well maintained and enjoyable. In all of the years I’ve been camping and hiking I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s available just a short drive away. Along with hiking, gardening and spending time on our quaint quarter acre property is one of my most favorite way to spend the nicer days.

In my Ray’s Footprint blog post, I’m here to share some photos from recent hiking adventures in Oregon (and Maui, Hawaii) and give you some quick hiking etiquette tips!

I’ve also got some great shots of the blooms in my yard, with oh-so-many more to come!


I want to hear from you!

Send photos of your recent hiking adventures and gardening projects to:
[email protected]
for a feature in my next Blog Post and Newsletter!

– Ray at EcoKarma


Eagles Rest Trail in Willamette National Park

In early May we enjoyed the rewarding view at the end of a hike up in Willamette National Park with some friends. Eagles Rest Trail is a 4.8 Mile out-and-back trail with moderate elevation change in a short amount of time. Worth it!

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Hiking in Willamette National Forest

Here are some quick tips if your hiking in the Willamette or similar parks.

-Check Elevation Gains. Prepare for your level of experience and who you are bringing along. Sometimes old logging roads can cut hikes into two parts which can provide the view to those who can’t go quite as far.

-Check for Wildlife Sightings in the Area. While these areas do have assigned rangers, they can be vast, and you should be prepared to run into something along the way. If you’re familiar with the animals in the area this shouldn’t be anything other than an exciting experience.

-Know Your Plants. Poison Oak? Mushrooms? Berries? Know what’s good.

-Check Road Conditions. Some of these hikes won’t be off of main roads, make sure you are ready to drive more precarious paths to get to and from your starting point.

Golden and Silver Falls State Park

Golden and Silver Falls is a hidden gem State Park just off the South Western Oregon Coast. It’s got a variety of trails to view the falls from depending on your skill level. Just watch out for poison oak! We enjoyed it on Mother’s Day Weekend.

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Hiking Oregon State Parks

-Obey all Signage. Really want to go off trail? Is there a sign instructing you not to? There’s always a good reason why, and they should be followed. This can be because of protected plants and animals, but often it’s for your own safety. If you’re at Golden and Silver Falls trails, stay on the path to avoid poison oak and steep drop-offs. There are plenty of great views from the various trail heads, so there is no reason to wander.

-Prepare for Windy Roads. The road to this particular park is gorgeous, but at some points narrows to a one lane, bumpy gravel road. It’s worth it, but leave extra time for a slow and safe journey to and from.

Adventures in Maui

My visit to Maui in late April included a full day of hiking along The Road to Hana. The last hike, Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park, was about 4 miles past waterfalls and through bamboo in the mud! Definitely worth it for the views!

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Hiking Basics for All

-Take a Reusable Water BottlePlan for the weather, and bring enough hydration for the way up and the way back down! Don’t assume that there will be anyplace for a refill at your hiking destination.

-Bring Out What You Brought In. If you’re packing a picnic, or bringing a dog, plan accordingly. Don’t leave any waste behind, and don’t make the assumption that there will be trash cans where you go. On a similar note, it’s also great to bring a small trash bag to pick up after those who have gone before you that are less considerate.

-Know What is Protected. Don’t take “souvenirs” unless it’s otherwise deemed OK. Some areas are protected. Certain feathers are from birds that are protected and are illegal to own. Some mushrooms require permits to harvest. Do your research, and when in doubt just assume that if the land is not yours, you should leave it as is.


Ray’s Garden

My husband and I bought our house from garden enthusiasts whom had become unable to properly maintain the yard for the last few years of ownership. It required a lot of work last year (our first spring in the house), the purchasing of many yard tools, and even more patience. However, we are certainly reaping the rewards this year!

Under all the overgrowth were 11 rose bushes in a variety of colors that are already starting their very first blooms! Rhodies, Roses, Red Valerians, Azaelas, Blueberries, and so much more. Our hops that we planted last year are back in full force, and definitely need to be reined in ASAP.

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