While my parents were in town visiting from Florida, we took a day trip to Paulina Falls and Lake. I didn’t know much about it, but figured it was worth a go. It ended up being way more beautiful than I expected, and a place I can only describe as “magical”.
The Paulina Falls are about a 45 minute drive South of Bend. It is a part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument area, but in a completely different area of the forest from where we went mountain biking.
When we got to the falls, we decided to first take the short 1/4 mile hike down to the lower lookout. The Paulina Falls is an 80 ft. twin waterfall. It was much larger than I expected, and gorgeous of course!
We got there pretty early in the morning and were able to sit and enjoy the view, just us, for a little bit.
After walking back up from the lower lookout, we headed around the corner to the upper lookout for a slightly different view of the falls.
That’s when I saw the trail go on further. We decided to take it into the unknown.
When it comes to day hikes, we tend to “wing it”. If there’s a trail we see that looks interesting, we’ll take it. We figure, we can always turn around, right?
This trail was one I am so glad we took. It followed right along the Paulina Creek and led us to Paulina Lake and the Paulina Lake Lodge. It’s like a little hidden gem in the forest that I didn’t even know existed.
The Paulina Lake Lodge is a rustic lodge built in 1929 with 13 cabins, a restaurant serving all-you-can eat spaghetti, ribs, homemade cobbler and more. They also have boat rentals, as well as SUP, kayak, and canoe rentals. The lodge sits right next to the lake and it’s a fisherman’s dream.
I love this kind of stuff. The old-fashioned lodge, sitting next to a beautiful lake, it just gets me every time.
We hung out by the lake, walked around the docks, watched the ducks, talked to the locals, and my dad tried his first Kombucha and liked it. I’m still not a fan.
There is a 7.5 mile hike around the lake and a 21 mile biking trail that I am eager to come back and do. In the winter months, the lodge is open for snowmobilers and cross-country skiers. And, even though the lodge is only 45 minutes from our house, I’d love to come back, stay a few nights, rent a paddleboard, and enjoy some cobbler.
What would be your ideal weekend relaxing getaway?
Do you prepare for a day hike or wing it like me?