The short, easy hike to Soda Creek Falls (also referred to as Lower Soda Falls) is a must do if you find yourself in Cascadia State Park, but unless you’re a waterfall enthusiast, it might not be reason enough for a trip here. The trailhead is located between the two day use parking areas marked with a wooden sign and two white posts. There is also a trailhead starting from the campground. The 1.5-mile round-trip hike follows the creek, crosses a few foot bridges, and wanders through the dense forest of Douglas fir, hemlock, and cedar. The lush forest seems to take over everything in sight, covering trees and rocks in green moss and ferns. The trail leads you to the base of the 150-foot waterfall where it appears to slip through the cracks in the basalt cliff. It’s a little challenging to see the full falls because of the angle of the rocks.
Other nearby adventures in Cascadia State Park include hiking trails along the South Santiam River, which includes swimming holes and fishing spots, and day use picnic areas with large fields for gathering and games. The day use area has restrooms, drinking fountains and picnic tables. Parking permits are not required.