Notice: 7/24/12
– In 2012, there is a one-lane stoplight controlled section of road at mile 2
of Sweet Creek Road.

Vicinity Location:
About 40 miles southwest of Eugene, OR. in the Siuslaw National
Forest.

Directions:
On Highway 126 from Eugene, drive towards Florence and turn left
onto Sweet Creek Road which is 15 miles east of Florence or 46 miles west of
Eugene. Coming from Eugene, the road is just before the Siuslaw River.

After driving about 4.5 miles, bear left and follow the main road,
keeping on Sweet Creek Road.

The Trailhead is at 10.2 miles from the Highway 126 and is marked
with a small sign. Turn right and drive into a small paved parking lot.

There is a second trailhead 1.7 miles farther on Sweet Creek Road
which makes for a much shorter hike to the falls, but you will miss many small
waterfalls.

No permits are required.

There is an outhouse in the parking lot.

Trail:
Sweet Creek Falls Trail #1319 with connections to Homestead
Trailhead.

There is at least one geocache for this trail
at: N 43° 56.918 W 123° 54.097 Info at Geocaching.com

Trail Maps:
Topo Map, Download Garmin .gpx file

Length and Elevation:
2.1 miles round trip. Elevation gain of 380 feet
and loss of 380 round trip. Elevation at the trailhead is 160 feet.

Review: July 24, 2012
The trail starts at the Homestead Trailhead which is across the parking lot
from the bathroom. Enjoy the stroll on the wide, well maintained trail which
shortly parallels Sweet Creek.

Enjoy the sounds of the creek as you stroll along and enjoy the small
waterfalls along the creek. The first part of the trail has some benches where
you can sit and take in the sights and sounds of the creek and lush forest. In
about .2 mile the trail goes onto a sturdy catwalk made of steel and wood and
bolted to the rock wall along the creek. The catwalk affords nice views into
the creek and of the surrounding forest.

By this part of the trail, you’ve already passed 2 or 3 waterfalls and you’re
heading for more. Take time to explore the small little waytrails that lead
down to the creek. Most of these little trails provide nice river-level views
of the waterfalls.

The trail continues to gently climbs alongside the stream and after about .25
mile, enters a small gorge. There is another catwalk to provide views looking
directly down into the creek.

Just past the gorge area, the trail goes by several places where trickles and
water seeps go into the creek. These provide havens for water-loving plants
like Skunk cabbage. Skunk Cabbage is distinctive with their huge arching shiny
green leaves coming from a central crown at ground level. There is also a short
section where the trail climbs up stairs made from railroad ties.

Approaching the lower falls, the trail becomes a little steeper than the first
sections. At .9 mile you come to the lower falls viewpoint. The creek cascades
down a 40 foot waterfall into a large pool. From here the trail switchbacks to
the left and climbs over water bar steps to the upper falls.

The upper falls has nice overlooks of the lower falls and looks straight-on to
the upper falls. The upper falls is about a 15 foot waterfall with most of the
water concentrated near the rock wall on the left.

Sweet Creek Falls can be accessed from the upper Sweet Creek Falls trailhead,
which is about 1.7 miles up the road from the Homestead Trailhead. From this
trailhead, the trail drops down for about .2 mile to the Sweet Creek Trail just
past the gorge area. Take a left to get to the falls. This misses some of the
prettiest parts of the trail and most of the small waterfalls and the beautiful
views of the stream.

The many small waterfalls make this a gem of a trail near Florence, Oregon. The
National Forest says there are 11 waterfalls along this trail. This is a
wonderful trail for small children who are experienced hikers who know to stay
away from the edge of the trail when there are sharp drop-offs, then this is a
wonderful trail for them. Summertime makes this even more child friendly
because the lower water levels allow people to get to the edge of the stream.
Just be careful of the slippery rocks.

Enjoy the photos!

Gallery
Pics

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