BLT Favorite Walk, Lebanon, Oregon

Boulder Falls to River walk

4.0 miles total

An easy level walk on paved surfaces from Boulder Falls Inn to the South Santiam River and back. Visit a Japanese garden and view of the South Santiam River from one point on the Marks Slough Trail.

See walk details below.

Walking directions

This walk starts at the Boulder Fall Inn and takes you all the way to the Santiam River, with a stop in a magnificent Japanese garden on the way.

Before you start the main part of the walk, exit the main entrance of the Boulder Falls Inn, turn to the right (north) and walk around to the back of the Inn to enter the Japanese Healing Garden. There’s more information about the garden and how it came to be in the “Did You Know” section at the bottom of this page.

After you’ve enjoyed the garden, walk back through the entrance. Turn right and walk past the entrance to the Boulder Falls Event Center, then turn right again towards the North Santiam highway (Route 20). Turn right at the highway, walk south on the sidewalk for a short way, and cross the highway towards the hospital at the flashing pedestrian crossing signal.

After the crossing, turn right and walk south along the highway for about a block until you reach a paved trail heading to your left (east). Walk on that trail for about two blocks until you get to Industrial Way. Cross the street, turn left, and cross the bridge to rejoin the trail heading east.

From that point on, watch for small but colorful trail signs that indicate the path. The next bit of trail until you get to Wheeler Street is called the Dr. Thad Nelson Trail.

Walk along the canal for another 1,000 ft. until you reach Williams Street. Turn right and cross the bridge.  Walk one block and turn left on Wheeler Street.

After you cross a bridge in another 1.5 blocks, turn left into Had Irvine Park. That path joins the 2-mile Marks Slough Trail loop, which is well marked and extends to the Santiam River. That loop returns you to Had Irvine Park, where you can retrace your steps back to the hotel. You can find more information about the Had Irvine-Marks Slough portion of the trail in this trail walk.

Trail Images and Videos

Trail start

Best Western Boulder Falls Inn
505 Mullins Drive
Lebanon, OR

Special notes

Paved surfaces
Short segments and crossings on public roads
Multiuse trail (walkers, bikers, etc.)
Dogs ok on leash
No horses or motorized devices on trails

Did you know...

Red goldfishLebanon has an internationally recognized Japanese Healing Garden on the Samaritan Health Campus near Boulder Falls Inn, designed by Hoichi Kurisu.

Bill Rauch, of the accounting firm Rauch, McFetridge, Cleveland and Stein in Lebanon, was instrumental in bringing the Japanese Healing Garden into existence. During his 45 years in Lebanon, Bill has been a director on several boards and was President of the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation for 16 years. Here is his account of how the garden came to be:

“I met Hoichi Kurisu in the early 70’s, Hoichi married a sister of one of the people that I went on a Japanese educational tour with in 1965-66. Hoichi grew up in the outskirts of Hiroshima and as a young boy he saw the atomic bomb explode and the plume rise over the city. As you can imagine this had a significant impact on him. He was told that nothing would ever grow again in Hiroshima, but as he saw things grow over the years, he came to believe that gardens have a healing potential that should be shared with everyone. That has been a focus of his life since then.”

See more about the garden at its website.

Almost 2,000 feet of the trail route extending across the hospital campus, along the canal and bordering Marks Slough were donated for the project by generous property owners. The water tower on the Dr. Thad Nelson trail was erected adjacent to the Lebanon paper and flour mills in the area primarily for firefighting purposes. It is full of holes and has been empty for several decades. The canal that runs along this trail is called the Albany Santiam Canal and was constructed by Chinese laborers who were brought in for the purpose in 1873. For more historical information, see the Had Irvine to Marks Slough Walk page.