“There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you!”-Mehmet Murat ildan
Central Oregon is slowly starting to open again and I have taken full advantage! I have spent the warm days wandering local trails. I have followed all guidelines and have stayed close to home but you better believe the moment I can head out to Crater Lake and the Pacific I will. Since I moved to Bend in the fall, I tried to find my footing, had an emotionally rough winter, and then a pandemic, so I hadn’t really done much but I had kept an eye out for local state park openings. First I went to La Pine State Park (that will be a later post because there are a couple more trails I want to hit) and then the Cline Falls State Park and Scenic Viewpoint, about 30 minutes from my place.
I went the day Cline Falls reopened. Oregon Parks website warned that if too many people were there, they would turn you away. Fortunately for me (and physical distancing) there was only a couple of people there. Where the parking area is, there are picnic tables and restrooms. I wandered here and stumbled upon a little geese family. I have never seen so many little goslings in one spot…holy cuteness! Little fluff balls and just wandering around with their parents. I’m so grateful to have seen this, something I don’t think I would have experienced if the park hadn’t been closed for two months…loads of people definitely would have spooked them.
The trail is an in and out but you need to find it first. I had read the trailhead was difficult to find as it is not marked and boy is that correct. So what you want to do is park and then walk like you are leaving the park. As you walk up the drive you just drove in on, you’ll see a couple of access points (there were three that I spotted-I went on the first one). It really is just a break in the wooden planks that line the road and a dirt path that heads down to the river. That’s the trail and you just follow it. I don’t have a dog and, while they are allowed on a leash, I don’t necessarily recommend. The trail gets very rocky down by the river. There is a flat trail head that runs further up that’s flat but its also more brown. I also read the area floods and causes the trail to be quite muddy and/or obstructed, so make note of weather conditions.
Walk towards the highway bridge and you’ll pass under it, still following the river. After that the falls are about a quarter of a mile ahead. The trail keeps going but I didn’t travel much farther than the falls. Eventually you’ll run into private property (you can see houses in the distance) and it was going to rain, so I turned back. Once I arrived at the falls, I sat on a rock ledge and ate some dried cranberries, enjoying the scenery. It was a really lovely afternoon and the rain held off until I was nearly home. And because I was one of the only people there, it was incredibly peaceful. An excellent way to spend the day…and it has rained everyday since!
I am really grateful for calming days after an exhausting period of confinement. I will be working a lot this summer at a new restaurant to help with rent but, once school resumes, help fund my travels. I am planning some epic road trips to explore Bend and the Pacific Northwest!