Escaping on the Big Eddy Trail

  • Directions: Take Highway 12 to Orofino and the cross the bridge into town. Your first left onto Ahsahka Rd will take you back along the river past the Fishery and the town of Ahsahka. Just past town, signs for Big Eddy will direct you to turn right and head up the hill. Follow this road all the way to the boat launch. Park and have fun!
  • Notes: If someone in the group has an Idaho State Park Passport, you can leave one car at the Big Eddy Marina and take another to Freeman Creek Campground, thru-hike the 10 miles, and then return for the second car.

I was so excited when Joe and Leslie posted an invite on our Clearwater Trekkers Facebook group page to join them on the Big Eddy Trail. That’s exactly what this group is for, and it was just the thing I needed.

Big Eddy Trail is one of our favorite trails, and we usually hike it at least once a season. The Clearwater Trekkers started in Orofino back in 2014, so the Big Eddy Trail was close, long at 10 miles, beautiful, and offered a variety of terrain. It’s just fun to hike.

There are designated camping sites along the shoreline, too. I’ve begun talking to the kids about practicing backpacking as a family on this trail as well as other trails around Dworshak Reservoir. We could figure out our gear and pace and routines before heading off into the brush.

This time, the girls decided to stay home to have a bit of a girls’ day and then go grocery shopping, so it was just Jacob, the dogs, and me this time. As usual, Joe and Leslie were a delight to share the trail with. They are so patient when Little Man gets daunted by a steep decline or suddenly has to go potty.

We made our way out for about 2 miles and did lunch on one of the arms that reaches out into the lake. After enjoying sandwiches and wraps on a soft seat of pine needles, we explored down by the waterline. Sassy probably felt 3 years younger chasing rocks we threw in the water.

After lunch, Joe and Leslie continued on down the trail while Jacob and I headed back. He proved a fearless leader who kept us safe from “the monster” who was chasing us the whole way. Fortunately, every time Jacob needed a rest, the monster did, too. It would “go to sleep” while we grabbed a snack.

It was a bit of an adventurous day for Jacob. Outrunning monsters, climbing around the shoreline, throwing rocks for Sassy, playing with blue butterflies, and climbing and jumping off everything he could. I’m so glad he enjoys getting out there with his old man.

The Big Eddy Trail technically starts at the Freeman Creek State Park, where an entrance fee is applied. That’s no problem if you buy the annual State Park Pass with your vehicle registration, or if you’re staying at the park and a day hike along the trail is part of your fun; otherwise, you can access the trail from the Big Eddy boat launch by Ahsahka just outside of Orofino. Parking at the boat launch is free, plus, there is a playground and swimming area here. 

Jacob and I hung out at the playground for a minute before taking off and grabbing a bouquet of flowers for Amanda on our way out town.

 

#Seek the Clearwater

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