- 2.6 miles round trip
- 450 feet elevation gain
- Open all year
Short trails to a waterfall, a mineral spring, and a South Santiam River wading beach highlight this historic state park near Sweet Home.
The area’s history as a travelers’ camp has been traced back 8000 years, when native Americans built campfires in nearby Cascadia Cave. Excavations in this broad hollow beneath the overhang of a cliff reveal that early visitors hunted deer, elk, and rabbits, and used hand-held stones to grind nuts and seeds.
Pioneer entrepreneurs expanded use of the South Santiam as a travel route, building a for-profit wagon road from Albany to Sisters in 1866-67. In 1895, George and Jennie Geisendorfer bought the natural soda springs here, built a bridge across the river to the wagon road, and developed a resort for weary travelers. The Geisendorfers ran their hotel, store, bath house, rental cabins, and campground for 45 years before selling to the state. Cascadia Resort’s buildings are gone, but the park’s picnic areas and campground are as popular as ever.
To find the park, drive Highway …
This chapter is an excerpt from 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Central Oregon Cascades.