This quiet trail will lead you alongside Crofton Ridge and through the Mount Adams Wilderness. In the spring, lupine flowers welcome you into an area still recovering from a 2015 wildfire. Later in the summer, you can fill up on ripe blueberries and tiny wild strawberries. Clear days treat you to views of Mount Adams through the trees.
Begin by heading uphill on a soft dirt trail through a forest thick with greenery. In the spring, various small wildflowers appear throughout here, and later on, fall color warms up the forest. At a quarter mile, you’ll enter the Mount Adams Wilderness in a stand of dying trees; signs are posted on the trees to remind visitors of Wilderness area regulations. Here, the blueberries become abundant and soon they almost overtake the trail. Closer to the ground, sweet strawberries peek out for those who slow down.
Ascend again through the woodlands, and after another quarter mile, you’ll veer east and enter the area burned in the 2015 Cougar Creek Fire. Large outcroppings of lava rocks jut from the ground, surrounded by several native grass varieties. The trail meanders between rocks, gently ascending and descending through the stands of dead trees. Caution should be used during high winds as falling trees and branches can be a hazard. On clear days, you might catch sight of Mount Adams throughout this area, as well as Crofton Butte to the north and Lower Butte to the south.
After a mile hiking through spindly trees, you’ll descend into unburned forest again. Shortly after, a short ascent will bring you to the top of the ridge, about 2 miles out from the trailhead. You may have views through the thick trees here, and it makes a good turnaround point, especially if you have children with you.
The trail after this descends steeply towards Crofton Creek and eventually reaches Morrison Campground for those interested in a longer trip. Otherwise, turn around and head back down the hill towards the trailhead where you started.