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Lee Falls

January 24th
5 miles*** 7 hikers, 4 dogs ***

Cool & cloudy

The hardest part about this hike in the foothills of the Coastal Range is finding a place to park; the entire area is privately owned. After driving through the tiny community of Cherry Grove, we found some local landowners who were kind enough to let us park in front of their field. This hike is almost all on hard-packed gravel road, with no steep hills, so I think it would be a good place to ride our bikes next time.

We walked up the gravel road, paralleling the small Tualatin River on our left for only a few minutes before we found a trail heading out through the woods to the river. There’s an open, grassy spot right in front of the first waterfall, which drops in several sections amongst blocky lava. We then followed a trail upstream a few minutes to another, unnamed little waterfall.

Back on the gravel road, we passed a couple of the landowners who were cutting a fallen tree up for firewood. The higher into the hills we hiked, the more snow we were seeing alongside the road and in the woods, but none on our path.

We passed a couple of bridges and side roads along the way. Several spots in this creek-sized river are crystal clear, unlike its muddy, downstream section.

In a little less than 2 miles, we came to 20’ Lee Falls which also drops in several sections over blocky lava.

The basalt ledge here was a good place for lunch and picture-taking.

Hiking back, we turned the 4 dogs loose, so they could play with each other.

Before, driving back to town, we took a detour to circle Haag Lake where the water level was lowered for the winter. The lake is held back by a huge earth dam with a cute little church at its base.

Back in Cornelius, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant for dinner before parting for home.


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