Hike of the Week: McKenzie River Trail, Eugene, OR This easy-going, 1.9-mile section of the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail links Belknap Springs to NF-2650 past cascading creeks, moss-draped evergreens, and views of the roiling McKenzie River. The stretch of the McKenzie River Trail that runs between Carmen Diversion Reservoir and Tamolitch Falls, also known as the Blue Pool, is notable for the conspicuous absence of the McKenzie River. Washington, and crosses a bridge over the McKenzie River.. Backpacking the McKenzie River Trail 26 miles may be some hardcore thru-hikers’ idea of a morning jaunt, but if you’re an average hiker, you’ll probably want to make an overnighter of it. Go from the lower trailhead to the upper trailhead and back, and you can make it a nice multi-day 50 mile-plus trip. Beginning at the Upper McKenzie River Trailhead, McKenzie River National Recreation Trail #3507 starts in an old lava flow, originating from Mt. However – as a rider, be cautious of the frequently heavy foot traffic. The trail maintains a gradual downhill track through old growth conifer trees as it winds along the edge of the McKenzie River and crosses the river on a footbridge just before Clear Lake. The lower half of the McKenzie River Trail will provide some respite from the technical lava rock of the top. The Blue Pool is a popular hiking destination and perfect location for a snack.