Chill, subtle winds blew on July 8 in John Day with a cerulean sky accompanied by socially distanced clouds. The time arrived to explore the recently finished Davis Creek Park that provided a trail system embellished with trees and multiple paths for spectators of all kind.

While driving up Bridge Street in a Black 2007 Honda Civic that efficiently stored heat, unbearably so in the summer, the journey of the day began at the top of Northwest Valley View Drive.

At the entrance of the trail system, a map detailed four paths and their lengths with three paths branching off from Creekside.

The quarter-mile Creekside path connects with all the other paths and is the main route that leads travelers from Valley View Drive down to end of the trail at Northwest Seventh Avenue.

Walkers or bikers can keep the trip simple and travel directly up and down this route, but there are three other paths labeled Creekside Connector, Overlook and North Trail for people to explore as well.

As the trip began, the trail was established by rocks on the left and right with gravel in between to walk on.

Plenty of trees occupied by birds, primarily crows that persistently crowed, filled the path with enough shade to take a moment to either embrace the sun or retreat and cool down.

The descent down at the beginning of the trail was gradual and nothing extreme, perfect for casual walking, especially for an individual in Vans, khakis and a buttoned-up shirt.

Within the first couple of minutes, there was an option to take a left and continue on the Creekside path or go straight and cross the tiny bridge over to the Creekside Connector. The 200-feet connector provides a path between Creekside Trail and the Overlook.

Each crossroad is also accompanied by small signs with arrows and the name of a path so travelers will always be aware of their location when exploring Davis Creek Park.

I walked over the short bridge, accompanied by the audible flow of the creek, and embarked for the Overlook with potential views awaiting this traveler armed with a camera.

After crossing the bridge, the connector path began to gradually rise but at a pace that was easy to adjust to. While walking up, the sounds of the irksome crows continued, along with crying dogs in the distance.

Walking up the stairs to the Overlook Trail was easy and began to provide glimpses of the potential view that awaits at the top of the 725-foot trail. After ascending the steps and an additional 7 minutes of walking, accompanied by taking photos left and right, I reached the viewpoint.

It provided an overview of John Day to the left with many buildings and businesses accompanied by trees. The right side of the scene provided a view into the open range leading to Mt. Vernon.

The viewpoint was fairly quiet, probably because the crows kept their distance, as the cars traveling on Main Street were faintly heard, accompanied by the sound of the river flowing near Riverside Trailer Park.

After soaking in the calm, worry-free, current event-free moment, it was time to head back to where the Overlook Trail connected with the Creekside Trail.

Back on Creekside Trail, it was time to travel down to the North Trail. While the North Trail, which is about a quarter mile, was not as scenic as the viewpoint, it did provide a closer look into what was viewed from on top.

The North Trail was leveled after descending to it from Creek Trail and was easy to walk through. The North Trail is a straight path for the majority of the walk, but does have its moments for great photo opportunities. Reaching the end of North Point signaled the end of the trip and the start of walking back up to Valley View Drive.

The trip took about an hour to finish by slowly walking and taking numerous pictures, and was simple to complete in Vans.

I reflected on the trip while letting the heat in the black Honda Civic air out from being in the sun: Davis Creek Trail is not the biggest or most rigorous trail in the county, but its simplicity, options and views provide an easy and quick trip that anybody can enjoy during the taxing time of COVID-19.


Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at or 541-575-0710.

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