This was a super mellow hike with very little elevation gain, perfect for walk with our dog Zoe on a hot June day. We started our hike with a quick peak at the scenic footbridge just upstream of the campground. The water of Fall River is very clear but we saw no sign of fish in the river, and after a brief walk along the trail on the south side of the river (the “shoreline path” mentioned in Sullivan’s guidebook) we returned to the day use area and headed downstream. After walking through the Fall Creek campground which was full of small RVs but otherwise deserted, we reached the trailhead for our easy 4.8 mile hike. The forest along the trail was a nice mix of Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pines with a healthy carpet of wild strawberry and other plants and shrubs.
Sullivan’s guidebook mentions a few landmarks along the downstream hike (including a parking lot at 1.2 miles, a cinder road, and a roadside pullout at 2.1 miles) but we were out for a simple amble and didn’t pay attention to when we arrived at these features and instead enjoyed the solitude and peaceful surroundings. The river is slow flowing along this stretch and evidently more people visit this stretch for fly fishing than hiking (the only people we saw during our walk were in the river fly fishing). This stretch of the Fall River seems to be much quieter than the stretch through La Pine State Park (see Hike #2). All in all a nice walk and definitely a spot we would visit again with Zoe. The mosquitos were out on this day in June but I imagine mosquitos and other biting bugs are not bad most of the year. This could be a nice trail run and I might return in September for another look.