The city of Salem, snuggled into the forested beauty of the Pacific Northwest, offers its residents a variety of worthy options for outdoor recreation. Whether you’re interested in hiking, birdwatching, biking or running, Salem’s diverse natural environment provides it all for those willing to make the drive to any of its many scenic destinations. If you’re at a loss for a new spot to explore, here are a few Salem trails that stand out among the crowd.
Croisan Creek Trail
Located in Salem’s southern half, the Croisan Creek Trail is tucked away in Salem’s neighborhoods, allowing residents to dip in and out of the trail on their way across the city. The Croisan Creek Trail can be easily biked, making it possible to use the trail as a commuting path if convenient.
While traveling the trail itself, visitors will immediately notice the deep cover of the surrounding forest, which creates a tranquil, cool atmosphere ideal for escaping from the heat of summer. Though Croisan Creek has many uses and offers convenient access to nature for those living in South Salem, this Salem trail is not traveled as frequently as other well-known hiking locations in the area, making it peaceful walk through and through.
Salem is home to a number of state parks that each contain their own unique amenities and features. One of the most renowned near Salem is Silver Falls State Park, home to some of the best hiking trails in the state of Oregon. In particular, the Catamount Trail at Silver Falls has been recently renovated, making the trail more convenient for bikers to traverse and creating shortcuts to allow different sections of the trail to be accessed more readily.
The Catamount Trail has its share of tremendous natural wonders as well. From tall trees that loom overhead to the sights that can be glimpsed from the hike’s elevated points, Catamount is a Salem trail that will stick in the memory and makes a well-suited location for exploring with friends.
Intertwined with the Croisan Creek path is another Salem trail worth visiting, cutting through the woodland glory of Salem’s Skyline Park. Known as a “pocket trail” for its proximity to residential areas in Salem, the Skyline Trail offers an experience distinct from its Croisan Creek counterpart with bountiful flora and fauna that grace the trail with their presence.
Visitors to the Skyline Trail have remarked on sightings of deer, beavers, birds and other exotic creatures that call the Pacific Northwest their home. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Salem’s urban environment, it can be refreshing to take solace in nature for a time, which is exactly what the Skyline Trail offers to residents of the city.
Fairview Wetlands Scenic Trail
The Fairview Wetlands Scenic Trail offers a decidedly different environment than those previously described, as the wetlands that this trail calls home offer less in the way of dense forest than gloomy marsh. However, for those who appreciate the singular sights that only a wetlands biome can provide, the Fairview Scenic Trail provides helpful, detailed descriptions of the unique species of plants and animals that exist in the wetlands at periodic points across the path.
After hitting the trails, don’t forget to stop by your favorite Salem dispensary for some relaxing strains!