Explore the Forest

Use our recreation map to find activities to enjoy your time in the Willamette National Forest.

Detroit Ranger District (US Highway 22)

Detroit Ranger District is located in the northern part of the Willamette National Forest, bordering Mt. Hood National Forest and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

This area is accessible from the west on Highway 22 from Salem, from the east on Highway 22 via Highway 20/126 from the Santiam Pass area, or from the north on Forest Road 46 from the Mt. Hood National Forest.

Camping

Here you will find popular campgrounds in the Detroit Lake Area, as well as Breitenbush Campground and Shady Cove Campground that serve as the base for adventures such as hiking, horseback riding, OHV riding, swimming, and more..

Hiking

Incredible vistas await while backpacking in the Mt. Jefferson - Jefferson Park Trail Area and the Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Trail Area.

Many day hiking opportunities can be found throughout the district such as the Detroit Reservoir Trail Area and Coffin Mountain Trail Area.

Other Recreation

Many areas offer great boating and swimming such as the Detroit Lake Area, Elk Lake Campground, and Three Pools Day Use Area.

Explore the Detroit Ranger District


Sweet Home Ranger District (US Highway 20)

Sweet Home Ranger District is in the middle part of the Willamette National Forest. This area is accessible from the west via Highway 20 from Albany, OR, or from the east on Highway 20 from Sisters.

Let the Sweet Home Ranger District give you a taste of the sweet life! You’ll find mountain biking adventures, incredible wildflower hikes, swimming areas to keep cool on a hot summer day, and much more.

Guided Hikes

Choose your own adventure or take a guided adventure on a Sweet Home Heritage and Nature Tour.

Camping

Keep cool on a warm summer day at one of the popular campground and swimming areas such as Fernview Campground, House Rock Campground, or Trout Creek Campground.

Hiking

If you like wildflowers take a hike in the Old Cascade Crest Trail Area or the Tombstone Pass Trail Area (especially Iron Mountain Trail).

Other Recreation

Grab your bike and get your legs and heart pumping on the Santiam Wagon Road Trail Area and Iron Mountain.

Uncover the past at Longbow Organization Camp.

Explore the Sweet Home Ranger District


Explore the McKenzie River Ranger District!

The McKenzie River Ranger District is in the middle part of the Willamette National Forest, bordering the Deschutes National Forest. Accessible from the west via Highway 126 from Eugene, OR, or from the east on Highway 20 from Sisters.

The McKenzie River Ranger District is a collection of stunning lakes and waterfalls, epic mountain biking and rafting, and opportunities to explore history.

Hiking

Get your water fix at the Upper McKenzie Trail Area hiking the Water Falls Loop Trail #3503 where you can see the popular Sahalie and Koosah Falls. View the headwaters of the McKenzie River at the stunning Clear Lake Loop Trail #4341.

Other Recreation

The O’Leary trail area and Upper McKenzie Trail Area offer some of the best mountain biking on the forest. Road cyclists will love the challenge of the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass National Scenic Byway and the views are spectacular from your vehicle as well!

Don’t miss the Dee Wright Observatory, along the scenic McKenzie Highway (Hwy 242), for panoramic views of Cascade peaks such as Mount Washington and the Three Sisters. For Highway 242 opening and closing dates, check Oregon Department of Transportation website

History buffs will enjoy a stop at Fish Lake Interpretive Day Use, or try spending a night at an historic guard station (reservations required) such as Box Canyon Guard Station or Indian Ridge Lookout.

Take a guided trip down the river with one of our McKenzie River Permitted Outfitters & Guides.

Explore the McKenzie River Ranger District


Middle Fork Ranger District (US Highway 58)

The Middle Fork Ranger District is the southern part of the forest, bordering the Deschutes and Umpqua National Forests. Accessible from the west on Highway 58 from Eugene, OR, or from the south via Highway 58.

Spend some time exploring Waldo Lake, one of the gems of the forest, but don’t forget to get out on some of the great mountain biking, hiking, and horse trails in this area.

Hiking

Backpacking and day hikes can be found all over the district including, Fall Creek Trail Area, and Hardesty Trail Area. For spectacular mountain scenery, try a hike in the Willamette Pass Trail Area

Other Recreation

The renowned Middle Fork Willamette Trail #3609, North Waldo Trail Area and South Waldo Trail Area are just a few of the more popular mountain biking areas.

One of the gems of the Willamette National Forest is the Waldo Lake Area provides many recreational opportunities including horse camping, non-motorized boating, swimming, hiking and biking.

For those who prefer to travel by horse, the spectacular Diamond Peak Trail Area offers multiple trails For those that enjoy travel of the motorized type, OHV enthusiasts can enjoy the Huckleberry Flats OHV Trail.

Explore the Middle Fork Ranger District