Molalla River Recreation Area, May 2017
Southeast of the town of Molalla (itself southeast of Portland) is an Oregon hidden gem, the Molalla River Recreation Area. This BLM-maintained land follows the river as it cuts through foothills of the Cascade mountains and has a series of hiking and mountain biking trails that take you through forests so thick they make you feel a million lightyears from the Willamette Valley just a little below. Amanda and I explored as much as we could in one morning in May 2017, but we barely saw the tip of the whole area. We visited the Americorp trail and the wonderfully named Amanda's trail, as well as fishing trails the hug the banks of the river, where we stopped for a little picnic with the spiders.