Kentucky falls

  • Trail name: Kentucky Falls
  • Distance: 4 miles
  • elevation gain: 760 ft
  • Location: Siuslaw National Forest
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Fishing: N/A (there is fish but it is not worth carrying a pole down)

Deep in the coast range there is a beautiful series of waterfalls that an adventurer can hike into for the day.  There are a total of three falls that you can see on this hike.  The first is upper Kentucky falls about a mile into the hike.  The other two falls come down two separate valleys and fall nearly side by side.  If you wall down near the base of the falls there is several points where you can see both falls at the same time.  Lower Kentucky falls and North Smith River falls on the other. The total distance of the hike is only 4 miles with a moderate elevation gain for the walk back up.

Spring is a great time to hike this trail.  There are wildflowers along the path the entire way.  The trail is generally open year around but the occasional snowstorm and fallen tree can make the path a bit more difficult in the winter.  But with the high water from the rains it is still worth the trip to get down to the falls. If you are going in the fall please watch out for Deer and Elk hunters in the woods.  It is always a good Idea to wear bright colors from October through November

Directions: From Eugene, take Highway 126 west towards the coast. Turn left at the Whittaker Creek sign, about 32 miles from Beltline and West 11th. Travel 1.5 miles and turn right over a bridge. (If you care to see some salmon or use the bathroom, stop at the Whitaker Creek Campground.) Drive another 1.6 miles and veer left onto the uphill Dunn Ridge Road. Drive 7.3 miles to the end of the pavement and turn Left onto Knowles Creek Road. After 2.9 miles you’ll reach a “Y” intersection. Stay to the right and continue for another 1.7 miles to paved road #23. Turn right here and go 2.6 miles to the Kentucky Falls trailhead.


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