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The Smith River Falls plunges a spectacular three feet. All along the road the river spreads into swimmable pools. This area is a great spot for a family picnic. Nearby are excellent campgrounds.

The Majestic Smith River FallsView All Sizes

JOURNAL : September 5, 2009

The Snaky Smith River

Oregon > United States

Series The Snaky Smith River

When queried about great places to see north of Coos Bay an attractive girl at a coffee shop recommended the Smith River. Although 45 minutes north and way off the 101's beaten track, I opted to check it out.

Sure enough, a scenic drive along the lazy river through some beautiful countryside was duly rewarded. Upriver the Smith is a clear stream laden with smooth, flat rocks that form pools along the way. By the time the Smith Falls finally came into view I had already understood why the girl had raved about this place.

The Smith River Falls plunges a spectacular three feet. Note the fish ladders for spawning salmon. This area is a great spot for a family picnic.

Smith River FallsView All Sizes

How to Get There

Just north of Reedsport and just past a long bridge over the Umpqua River but just before the bridge over the Smith River take a right onto Smith River Road. Follow that for a dozen miles or so and eventually the road passes three campgrounds: Fawn Creek, Smith River Falls and Vincent. They are all free. Smith River Falls is the most beautiful, situated close to the waterfall.

Situated next to the Smith River and within the lush green forest, this campground has a half-dozen lovely (and free) sites.

Smith River CampgroundView All Sizes

Smith River Falls

While only a mere 3-foot drop, the falls is amidst a large playground of broad rocks, pools and lush forested area. It's a great place to bring the family. Unfortunately some asinine visitors left cigarette butts and beer cans littered around. And not good beer either but lame domestic beer. It boggles me how people can not think to port their trash out and leave the place the serene paradise it was and should be.

A couple of warning signs spelled out a release of liability for trespassers on this sketchy bridge. Despite the condition of the planks, the structure of the bridghe is quite solid.

Sketchy BridgeView All Sizes

Bow Hunting Season

In Oregon September is bowhunting season for deer and elk. Recently I've met up with some bowhunters and the topic always conjures mixed feelings. Dying by arrow wound is a horrible way to die, but such is the way of nature. Is is preferable to die painfully in the jaws of some vicious animal? Or by slow starvation during the winter?

A bridge over Vincent Creek near the campground of the same name.

Vincent CreekView All Sizes

Necessity vs. Sport

If I was living in the wilderness and needed to hunt to survive I would soon become a consummate hunter and trapper, expert with rifle and/or bow, with starvation as supreme motivator. Even more remotely I ponder, if stranded on a desolate island with a person I despised, would I soon kill and eat them to survive?

But, without this impetus why do some hunt?

So let's drink some beer and shoot some deer...

Smith River

The Smith River meanders through some lush, beautiful Oregon countryside.

Meandering Smith RiverView All Sizes

Driving down the Smith River Road the sun came out quite suddenly and lit up the verdant countryside.

The Greens of OregonView All Sizes

The Smith River Falls plunges a spectacular three feet. All along the road the river spreads into swimmable pools. This area is a great spot for a family picnic. Nearby are excellent campgrounds.

About this day

The Snaky Smith River

September 5, 2009

Oregon > United States

Tags   Driving · Waterfalls · Rivers

Oregon Series | All United States Locations

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