When I woke up, I didn’t have a planned hike for the day. The weather was suppose to be wet and I needed to get to Corvallis to pick up some bread for a potluck we had planned the next day. But if the weather is anything, its unpredictable! As we were milling around the house getting the kids ready to go to Great Harvest, I noticed that there was no sign of any rain, and the sun was shining. So we decided we would try and make a double trip. First go pick up bread…(and some extra delicious snacks for us), then find a place nearby to hike. I wanted to stay close by knowing that the weather could change at any moment, especially if we went toward the mountains.
We decided on Bald Hill Natural Area, which is popular in Corvallis but not a place I have been before. When we first got there the kids seemed disappointed that we were on a paved pathway. But, it didn’t take long for us to find a side trail that would lead us up the hillside. This time I let Yovel bring her small hiking pack and made her the leader, and in charge of snacks…You guys…this completely made her WHOLE DAY! The trail was mostly gravel and some mud, it got steep (for a kid under four) quickly, but Yovel didn’t seem to mind. She just powered her way through a handful of switchbacks, making sure that she stayed the leader. The ground leveled out as we got close to the top and Zadek decided it was time for him to stretch his hiking legs.
Once we got to the top we were welcomed with a beautiful view of the valley and a nice bench where everyone was able to rest and much on some of our Great Harvest treats. We didn’t stay long, but we did have to decide which way was the best way to go…either down the other side or up a litte further across the top of the hill. We decided to go across the top and we were so thrilled we did!! We found another beautiful bench for viewing the valley below and some great climbing trees that the kids absolutely LOVED!! I don’t think they ever really wanted to leave the tree!!
After some tree climbing and some laughter we decided we better move along. we took the back side of the hill heading back toward the main hiking trail. This trail was basically straight down with a lot of leaves and mud. Not nearly as beautiful as the switchbacks we took on the way up. The kids still found some beauty and picked some ferns to turn into umbrellas(in case it rained). At this point we could feel quite a shift in the weather. The sun was gone and the air got colder…I was starting to be concerned about being stuck in a downpour. I wasn’t sure how much further we had to go but I knew we would be soaked if it started to rain. Not much longer and then we made it to the paved pathway again, which based on the map meant we only had a half mile to get back to the car. Within a few minutes of being on the concrete path, Yovel decided she was tired and wanted to be picked up by daddy. I guess she gets her energy from the dirt trails and surrounding beauty because I’m noticing a trend….road or pavement equals I’m tired now, please carry me, the fun part is over.
The last stretch was mostly a how quickly can we get back to the car walk. At this point it was noticeably colder, Yovel wanted to walk because it was too cold to ride on daddy’s shoulders but she was just TOO TIRED to walk. She almost broke down but then she realized mom packed her Jacket so she was good to go after that. Chloe was walking slower than normal because she had a larger than normal stick that she had set her mind on taking home with her. I told her that if she was going to take it she couldn’t bale half way through and drop it on the nice pathway. So, she was going slow, and her hands were cold from the stick, but she didn’t give up. We all made it to the car and thankfully without a drop of rain. But, it wasn’t long after we arrived home that the rain came….and it was a big storm so I am so thankful that we didn’t get caught in it.
Overall, I think that this hike was beautiful, about 2.5 mile hike, but the length kind of depends on which way you go. It was really fun for the whole family, but I think this hike would be absolutely beautiful in the spring when the flowers are in bloom. I’m sure this is a place that we will take the kids to again.
Check out our full Adventure on Youtube!!!