Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
630.00 ft (192.02 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.80 mi (6.12 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

If you’re looking for a nice hiking trail close to town, the newly developed 665-acre Thurston Hills Natural Area is a good option. Located just east of Springfield, the North Access Trail is easy to get to and has great amenities for hikers and bikers.

The North Access Trail is just about 2 miles long out-and-back, and there are options to extend the route. It starts in an open prairie for the first quarter mile and then continues up the hill with switchbacks shaded by trees. There are many wildflowers, birds, and other little critters to spot along the way. At the top the trail connects with the Spine Trail, a 1.3-mile long trail with views of the valley. It also connects with the Descent Trail for mountain bikers to use to get back to the trailhead. (The bike trail was under construction as of May 2018.)

The amenities at the trailhead include flush toilets, information signs, a bike washing station, ample parking, drinking fountains, and benches and picnic tables.

The trails and natural area are a new project and will continue to be worked on for people’s enjoyment as well as restoration of the habitats over the next few years. Be sure to check the signs at the trailhead for updates and possible trail maintenance/closures.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Wildflowers. Family-friendly trail.

Cons

Highway noise.

Trailhead Elevation

610.00 ft (185.93 m)

Highest point

1,215.00 ft (370.33 m)

Features

Flushing toilets
Family friendly
Potable water
Bird watching
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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