Hiking the Seclusive Siuslaw National Forest: Kentucky Falls

Lower Kentucky Falls

After two failed attempts to find Kentucky Falls, I finally made it to this beautiful forested hike deep in the Siuslaw National Forest. Featuring three tumbling waterfalls, the Kentucky Falls trail is a fantastic 4-mile half-day hike that follows a bubbling creek through the shade of lush trees. An out and back trail that starts with a steady downhill climb, the hikes showcases some of Oregon’s best cascading water. (One more Bucket List hike checked off!)

Upper Kentucky Falls
Upper Kentucky Falls
Lower Kentucky Falls
Lower Kentucky Falls
North Folk Falls
North Fork Falls

Located about an hour and half drive west of Eugene, the real challenge with this hike is the drive. With its utter remoteness, you must traverse old and current logging roads to cut over a ridge in the Coastal Mountain range to stumble across the trail head. The adventurous search and seclusion of this hike though is what makes it so great!

Getting there:

TIP: The key to getting to these falls is to track your miles with every turn.

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. 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 trail head. Some of these roads are a bit potholed, so go slow and be careful.

More photos:

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Published by Kelsey Ivey

An avid traveler and hiker, Kelsey is a freelance writer and professional explorer.

6 thoughts on “Hiking the Seclusive Siuslaw National Forest: Kentucky Falls

  1. Thanks for the writeup. The driving directions really helped.

    I traveled south on the way out and pitched a tent along Smith Creek. The roads are well marked in that direction. My guess is that coming from the south, the falls are much easier to find. It’s a bit of a maze coming off 126.

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