Monday, March 29, 2010

Charles Metsker Park AKA Rainbow Lake
Slide Mountain Falls
HAveing trouble loading photos with this "FRUIT COMPUTOR"

Please use your Garmin GPS for best results
45.25417 N

123.35167 W

Coastal hills near McMinnville

Necessary improvements
Trash needs to be collected and disposed of properly.

Who is supposed to be in charge?
Yamhill County (503)434-7463

Cost and passes accepted
Entry Permits Required
This gated park is dedicated to youth and nature, and is deed-restricted to chaperoned, organized youth or school groups only. If your group would like more information about using the park, call 503-434-7463. For entry permits, call 503-434-7515.

Saturday my wanderings took my little nephews, Ashley and me to Charles Metsker Park. Charles Metsker Park is above McMinnville on Baker Creek, past a series of microscopic parks and homemade makeshift hydroelectric systems. "Charles Metsker" is clearly marked with a large sign over a gated road. According to the sign posted on the gate you are not allowed to enter without a permit.... however it is not clear what that permit might be until you enter the park...OOPS. So I stuck my little orange wilderness area tag up and hoped that this might be a nice story to tell if I got caught...then I started to pick up every scrap of trash in the park and thought to myself, "if they want to give me a ticket, I will give them all the beer cans I picked up out of the park today to them to pay off part of the fine...." I thought, that would be quite clever.

Moving on in MCMINNVILE
Follow Baker creek road out to a large White Weyerhaeuser gate.... about 9 miles-ish...(I can't remember how many miles it was from 99 to the park....that is why God gave us "Jill the GPS".)

There is a gravel road just behind this locked county gate, which winds up past a little bridge over a creek and a slick path down to a curve in the creek. All in all not impressive but very peaceful. As you continue up the road further and the rushing water begins to get louder, steer off the road to the right and down a deer path to a most impressive creek fall. Perfect for meditation and contemplation, here lies a lush rain forest garden in the middle of great Doug Firs and moss-carpeted boulders.

The gravel road opens up to a settling pond at the bottom of a marsh, and then a little bridge guarded by a chain warning people to stay out without a permit (I refer you to my previous comments.)

Across the bridge are two trails, one following the creek to the aforementioned falls, and another that takes you high into a clear cut, and eventually to an "out of service" Weyerhaeuser road.

The park also has a small pond and facilities for youth events such as a Boy Scout picnics.... no joke says so on the board....

If you continue on about another mile to half mile, you will come across a waterfall known locally as “Slide Creek Falls” on the left side of the road, albeit a seasonal falls in the winter and early spring as March rains drain off.

The fall is quite impressive.

Alternate direction
From Hwy 99W in McMinnville, turn west onto Baker Creek Road at the Baker Creek Road/Evans Street intersection. Continue on Baker Creek Road through intersection with Baker Street. From the corner of Baker Street and Baker Creek Road, travel west 9.2 miles. The park is located past Rainbow Lodge on a gravel road to the right just past the lodge parking lot.


  1. So now post something else?
    For those who are looking for a less adventurous hike I suggest a short evening trip to Winch road. Turn by the old ware house and continue down the meandering lane approximately one mile. On your right you will see a rustic farmhouse. If there is a car in front with a giant us flag on the hood, stop here. This is the trail head.
    The hike is a short 10 years through the fall leaves but can be difficult while intoxicated or while carrying a keg of beer.
    Bush lite is the preferred beverage although cans and bottles of many brands can be found on the porch...