Carol Forsloff – If you are a hiker, would like to be, or have a family member or friend involved, then it’s important not just to know the fun of it but the risks as well, since accidents and deaths can come to even the most seasoned, as occurred with a 56-year-old Woodburn man named Daniel Frank Bonham who slipped and fell to his death in Silver Falls State Park in Oregon.
Bonham has been reported as having a knowledge of the area from being a frequent park visitor. His body was found on March 2 after he had been reported missing by family members earlier in the day.
The Canyon Trail is one of those beautiful trails to hike, as it leads the visitor to great waterfalls that range in height from 27 to 177 feet. Wide, open areas with great expanse of land allows folks to feel like they are in a theater-in-the-round while the forest and brush that sweep through the area remind people how full of wonder the landscape of Oregon is, with its range of natural beauty from the seaside coasts to the mountain ranges and the various parks along the way.
But within the beauty lies the risks as well. Most of the park area is closed until May 1, except the cabin sites. The Canyon Trail is also closed, as noted by the park authorities, from North Falls to Maple Ridge (4 miles) and Winter Falls Trail Head. The back country trails are reported closed as well.
Experts and those in the ranks of Oregon hikers tell us it is important to safeguard one’s journey by not just knowing the area but recognizing conditions at the time, road closures and special circumstances. It is also best not to hike alone and to take safety equipment as well as communication devices in case folks become lost or have an accident. To recognize those risks and to team up with the hiking fellowship, a website documents the various trails and conditions throughout the year.