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Note that there is a $3 day use fee for using this area, and it is only possible to use cash. Sometimes, the envelopes have been completely used up as it is a popular place on certain weekends. Therefore, be sure to bring an envelope and $3 cash with you.
One of the problems with Alsea Falls is that while you can get to the falls from Alsea sometimes, sometimes the road between the two is closed and the only access to it is from the east side of the Coast Range - that is, from highway 99W, Monroe,. Dawson and Bellfountain.
That said, Alsea is the only community really that close to the falls and so I have listed them here as just as good a place as any other.
There are two segments to the recreational area operated by the Bureau of Land Management: Alsea Falls Day Use Area (this tip) and the Alsea Falls Campground (located slightly east of the day use area, and closed in winter).
The day use area includes a number of picnic tables set into the forest, many of them with fire pits. The toilets scattered here and there through the area are pit toilets.
Several hiking trails start from the day use area that loop through the forest. The trail to the falls is well marked, and is only a very short walk from the parking area but it is fairly steep to the base of the falls.
By nature the falls are not huge, but the amount of water going over them varies quite a bit from dry to wet times of the year. Chances are, if you are coming to see the falls you want to come around May or so, as that is when spring runoff increases the water flow. However, watch out for seasonal flooding and road closures.
Updated Nov 22, 2012
Address: Alsea Falls Recreation Site, Monroe, OR 97465
in 1968 the land for this park was donated to Benton County by Rex and Ethel Clemens. Of the county parks along the Alsea River near the town of Alsea itself, this one offers the best options for day use recreation. It is a small park, like so many other county parks in the area, but is still larger than any of the others. The park is located slightly south of highway 34, and therefore the noise of the traffic is considerably lessened than in a few of the county parks that are right next to the road.
The restroom facility here is a Benton County Park standard issue pit toilet facility.
There are several trails in the park which form approximately two loops through dense second growth forest. All of these trails are fairly narrow gravel trails over most of their distance, though there is one section of one of the trails from the parking lot southwest that is somewhat wider for a short distance into the forest.
Huge tree stumps from the original forest that covered this area are quite visible in a number of places.
There are a few picnic tables with cooking fire pits at a few places along the Alsea River, shaded by forest cover.
This is a popular location for fishing when they are in season.
During hot days, expect to run into a fair number of people cooling off in the water of the river.
Forest wildflowers are common in this park, with Trillium tending to show themselves in early April and fading fast by mid-April. Bleeding heart are common by mid-April, and salmonberry are starting to bloom then as well.
Written Apr 21, 2012
There really isn't much to this small county park along the banks of the Alsea River, except a day use picnic area that has some shaded picnic tables, and a campground.
There are picnic tables here, and many of them have either a ground cooking fire pit or a cooking stand.
The toilet facilities here are a simple pit toilet in a standard structure that is shared with most of the other Benton County parks in the area around Alsea.
Part of the picnic area is open grass, for those that love the sun, but there are no picnic tables there.
The parking area, and indeed all of the driving areas inside the park are gravel.
There is a primitive boat ramp, and a short trail that runs between the campground and the picnic area. This trail runs beside the Alsea River, and is attractive though very short distance.
Other than the campground, it is a useful place to get out and stretch your legs a little bit on your way to the coast, but there is no extensive recreation facilities such as long trails available here.
Written Apr 21, 2012