Share:

Middle Fork Willamette Trail

Willamette National Forest

Willamette Foothills, Oregon

Start Exploring
Middle Fork Willamette Trail

Share:

Advertisement
  • The eastern trailhead for the Middle Fork of the Willamette Trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Beginning the Middle Fork of the Willamette Trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Some sections of the trail are exposed and hot in the summer.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • A dense forest canopy provides some shade on hot summer days.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • A small stream crossing along the Middle Fork of the Willamette Trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • A fishing and swimming hole on the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Rhododendrons along the trail and wildfire remains can be seen on a distant mountain side. - Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Footbridge along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. - Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Scorched remains and fireweed regeneration along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River Trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Aster.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Hiking through the burned areas can be exposed.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Middle Fork of the Willamette River Trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Small creek feeding into the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Footbridge along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River Trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Middle Fork of the Willamette River Trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Most of the trail is well maintained and includes improvements.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Middle Fork of the Willamette River.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Other sections of trail could use some maintenance.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Broken, but still passable, bridge along trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Columnar basalt along the trial. - Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Oregon Central Military Wagon Road sign along Middle Fork of the Willamette River trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Middle Fork of the Willamette River.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Middle Fork of the Willamette River. - Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • An open meadow along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River Trail.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • Middle Fork of the Willamette River.- Middle Fork Willamette Trail
  • - Middle Fork Willamette Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Very few people. Diverse ecosystems. Follows the river.
Cons: 
Many broken or damaged bridges.
Advertisement
Region:
Willamette Foothills, OR
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,400.00 ft (426.72 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
21.00 mi (33.80 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,500.00 ft (1,066.80 m)
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Middle Fork Willamette Trail is a beautiful, multi-purpose trail that winds through numerous and diverse ecosystems as it follows the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. With over 27 miles of trail and multiple, easily accessible points along Forest Service Road 21, you can make your adventure as long or short, and as easy or difficult, as you choose. There are plenty of opportunities for viewing a variety of plants and wildlife. Fishing and swimming holes can be found along the way, which make for nice breaks during a hike. The elevation change is pretty dramatic at the start of the hike, and the trail levels out the farther downstream you travel. Some of the trail can be muddy or slippery depending on the recent weather and water flow from small creeks that feed into the river. Part of the trail is marked with wooden diamonds with a bird carved in them to help keep you on track.

Signs of past wildfires can be seen along the trail, both near and far. Wildfires can be destructive, but also beneficial to ecosystems that thrive on the pattern of change and renewal. Hiking along the trail, the stark contrast between lush green forest and the charred, black stumps can be breathtaking. Nestled among the remains of tress you can see bright fireweed and other wildflowers blooming.

Campgrounds close to the trail include Secret, Campers Flat, Sacandaga, Indigo Springs, and Sand Prairie. All campgrounds are managed by the Forest Service. The trail crosses the river at different points, and it is not always on the same side as the campgrounds. There are some backcountry campsites along the trail and at most of the trailheads. If you are looking for a one-way, longer hike, it is possible to leave a car at Sand Prairie Campground overnight in the day use parking lot.

There are very few people along the trail, but watch for mountain bikers and equestrians who also utilize the beautiful area.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(39 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(70 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
35 Members
Who's Done It
10 Members
Submission by
Pro Contributor
371 Adventures Explored
128 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info