This easy, often muddy trail is a short but rewarding hike through old-growth forest thick with ferns to the 60-foot Spirit Falls, which cascades dreamlike over bedrock covered in moss into a small pool below.
Originally named Andrea Falls after the wife of discoverer and U.S. Forest Service ranger Kevin Riel, the falls were later named Spirit Falls after a Boy Scout troop constructed a trail to the falls in the 1980s in the spirit of scouting.
Birders may want to visit the area at dusk in June or July for a chance to spot the rarely seen black swift or listen to the calls of spotted or screech owls. Combined with nearby Moon Falls and Pinard Falls, a hike to Spirit Falls rounds out a great half day of beautiful waterfall viewing. For a full day loaded with falls, a short drive to the Brice Creek area yields even more opportunities for short hikes with big rewards and a variety of campgrounds.
Please note that Spirit Falls is part of the Layng Creek Watershed, which provides water to nearby Cottage Grove, and no swimming or camping is allowed.