Couple and a tent near the Molalla River
05/17/2022 (Updated: 11/22/2023) | Molalla, Trails

Molalla River Recreation Area

Just 10 miles from town, the Molalla River Corridor Recreation Area sits in a forested canyon and boasts a bevy of outdoor opportunities on (and along) the federally designated Wild and Scenic Molalla River. More than 20 miles of trails crisscross the area, campgrounds welcome overnight visitors, and the river itself—one of the few undammed tributaries of the Willamette River—offers excellent paddling opportunities as it flows from the Cascade Range toward the floor of the Willamette Valley.

Best of all: The quiet river corridor hosts four seasons of fun, remaining mostly snow-free in winter and pleasantly crisp at the height of summer. Between mid-October and early November, maple trees along the riverbanks turn electric shades of red, yellow, and orange. And in spring, winter runoff brings the river to its thrilling, thundering peak. Start planning your next epic outdoor adventure with these outings along the Molalla River Recreation Area:

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The Molalla River Recreation Corridor lures hikers of all experience levels. With trails along the beautiful waterway offering incredible views this stop offers something for everybody. The area features an extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. The system combines both single-track trails and old forest roads. The trails wind through the forested foothills and slopes of the Molalla River Valley, occasionally offering scenic glimpses of the forests and mountains of the Cascade Range. 

Mountain Biking

This trail system is an extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails and combines both singletrack trails and old logging roads. Start at the popular Hardy Creek Trailhead and after warming up on the Warm-up Loop trail, head up for some intermediate and advanced riding on the Rim Trail. Remember that this trail system can be used by hikers and equestrians, so yield to both if you encounter them on your ride. System may be closed from November 15 to May 15 when the trails are muddy.

Table Rock Wilderness

The 5,800-acre Table Rock Wilderness is a pristine landscape in the Cascade foothills, boasting colorful bushes of rhododendron and forests of Douglas fir and western hemlock. Several hiking trails enter the rugged wilderness, but plan a summertime trek to Table Rock, the remnant of an ancient lava flow that once covered the wider region; from its summit, nearly 5,000 feet above sea level, views of Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and another handful of Cascade peaks await.

Please Note: Day use is OPEN in the Molalla River Recreation Area up to the Table Rock Wilderness trailhead and 150 feet on either side of the Molalla River Road. All other areas remain closed due to the wildfires from 2020.


Pitch a tent at the scenic Three Bears Recreation Site or Cedar Grove Recreation Site, both offering walk-in campsites with tent pads, campfire rings, barbecue grills, and picnic tables—all amid cedar and fir forests near the banks of the crystal-clear Molalla River. Reservations are required at 

Easy Adventure

Not up for a daunting day hike, overnight camping trip, or heart-pumping thrill ride on the river’s rapids? Kick back with a relaxing day along the Molalla River: Head out on a scenic drive, stopping as often as you’d like to savor the views from roadside viewpoints, take a dip to cool off, enjoy a picnic with farm-fresh fare, or stretch your legs with a short walk to the base of Shotgun Falls. Just over a mile south of the waterfall, keep an eye for the Basalt Eye—a sunburstshaped rock formation along the banks of the Molalla River that resembles an eye.

Getting There

ADDRESS: S Molalla Forest Rd, Molalla, OR 97038

DIRECTIONS: The Molalla River Recreation Area is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Molalla in Clackamas County. From the town of Molalla, drive east on Main St/OR 211. Veer right at the OR 211/Mathias Road intersection, follow signs for Feyrer Park. Once past Feyrer Park, cross over the Molalla River, turn right, and follow signs for Dickey Prairie Rd. Continue south on Dickey Prairie Rd, keeping the Dickey Prairie Store on your left. At 3.7 miles past the store, turn right on Molalla Forest Rd and cross Glen Avon Bridge. View location on Google Maps.

FEES: There is a $15-$30 per campsite in Three Bears or Cedar Grove plus applicable non-refundable service fees. 

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