See description for details., Springfield, OR
Thurston Hills is a secret gem that few hikers know about. This path, about two miles round trip does have a steep incline, but will reward you with views of a beautiful secret Sawtooth Ridge, Diamond Peak and Coast Range on a clear day. Despite the short length, I would rate this as moderate difficulty, similar to Spencer Butte.
This is not an official park, so is not maintained and there is poison oak. With recent rain, it may also be muddy in some parts, especially one steep incline. Please wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Bring a snack to share with your new friends. You may want something to protect yourself from mosquitoes with insect repellent. Bring plenty of water for yourself. Dress appropriately for any weather that may come. I usually have a no-cotton clothing requirement for my long hikes. This time it's just a suggestion but it's a good time to start a safety habit.
I suggest wearing long pants because there is a lot of poison oak along the trail.
I do not allow dogs on my longer hikes but for this short one, well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome. Owners must keep them under control and be considerate of humans and other dogs.
It's summer now but there will probably still be wildflowers in addition to the great views.
You can see a trail map here: http://www.everytrail.com/guide/thurston-hills
Or watch a video I shot on this trail here: https://vimeo.com/71434912
To get there, take Main Street east of 126 and Main east toward the mountains and turn right on S. 67th St. and follow it to a T with S. 66th Pl. where you turn left. Follow all the way to a dead end and you've come to a trailhead. Here is a Google Map right to the trailhead: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zi6YKESIkJ7c.kFPWaV-j_3rU.
This is the trailhead parking:
See you at the trailhead.