For Memorial Day weekend our family booked a campsite at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, but with a check-in time of 2pm, we wanted to take advantage of the day on the way to our campsite. I looked for a couple of things that would be fun but on the quick side, and decided on Hedge Creek Falls & McCloud Falls.
Why we love it: There are three falls to see here – upper, middle, and lower. What was great for us was that we could see all three falls without much hiking effort or time spent; just a quick five to ten minute walk from the parking lot at each waterfall!
For the Young Ones (0-10): It’s an easy-peasy walk from the parking lot to waterfall observation deck at any of the three falls, getting you the view with very little effort! The lower falls were by far the most popular and if you trust the kiddos by water, you can go down to the rocks right by the water. There are also lots of picnic tables and bathrooms at the lower falls.
For the Big Kids (10+): If you have some time, take the approx. three mile hike between the falls. We didn’t see all of the trail since we were keeping it quick, but it looks like they did a really nice job of making a solid trail between the falls.
Keep in Mind:
- The water is frigid and quick. Be extremely careful whenever near the water. We stuck our feet in by the parking lot at upper falls, and my toes tingled from the cold pretty quickly.
- The parking lot at the lower falls is rumored to always be the most slammed. (Based on our experience, I’d say this is true.) Consider hiking from the upper falls down to middle and then to lower.
- While the viewing areas seem pretty safe overall, little kids should always be watched closely.
Around the Area: There are tons of hikes and things to see around this general area, but we were just sightseeing on our way to camping!
Difficulty Level: Parking lot to observation decks – beginner.