Kennedy Creek Falls

From its origin at Summit Lake in the Black Hills, Kennedy Creek flows just shy of 10 miles to Oyster Bay tumbling over a two-tiered waterfall along the way. Reaching these pretty falls involves a half day hike on a closed-to-vehicles logging road through patches of cuts and mature standing timber.

Start walking across a recent cut. In about a mile reach a grove of mature timber and the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail which opens in the fall for salmon viewing and field trips. Keep walking on the main road avoiding diverting roads. The route leaves state land for private timberland and rolls along. Take in decent views of the surrounding foothills.

At 2.8 miles (just before crossing a creek) follow an obvious but unmarked trail to the right. This path can be muddy and slick during periods of heavy rainfall. The trail descends to a grove of big cedars, firs and yews—and the falls. Here Kennedy Creek tumbles over an ancient basalt flow. The upper falls are small but quite pretty. The lower falls are difficult to see as they tumble into a narrow chasm of columnar basalt.