I got a little behind in posting anything, but K and I have still been doing our weekly hikes in the area! We’ve been hiking with other people lately, which has been fun.
I’d always heard about the trails at the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I’ve driven by there countless times, but I hadn’t been there. We decided to try it out. Angelina and her kids, M and L, joined us. It only takes about 15 minutes to drive there from Newberg, out highway 240 and then cutting over on Kuehne Rd and Abbey Rd like you’re going to Lafayette.
I probably would NOT highly recommend this site for young kids, although if you were just out there as an adult on a nice, contemplative retreat, it is lovely. Although the people we checked in with were very welcoming and nice, we felt like we had to be kind of quiet in parts of the trail (there’s a sign asking people to be quiet until they’re farther away from the main area), so we felt kind of nervous the whole time, like maybe we were ruining people’s quiet time.
They gave us a map (I couldn’t find any online before we went), but it was kind of confusing, so we thought we were on a different trail for most of the hike. Also, there was a TON of poison oak, so we had to keep to the middle of every trail and make sure the kids didn’t brush up against any. We made it, though! No outbreaks in subsequent days.
We did the trail I’ve marked in a blue line, in a counter-clockwise direction. (I believe the top of the map is east.) There are some trail markers at places, but not at every intersection. Also, we found that the place that says “¶12,” “Quarry,” and has a circle with squiggly lines, is in fact a pond, not a quarry. The quarry must be elsewhere along those dotted-line trails. The map has lots of A, B, C, and other markings that one would think would refer to a key or legend of some sort, but the other half of this paper didn’t have a key, it just had some info about the abbey.
That said, the network of trails was very nice. There were some areas that were like small gravel roads, and some that were more like forest trails. There were different types of scenery, from agricultural fields to forests, oak savannah to creek beds. I would definitely recommend going there as an adult, or with kids who are older and wouldn’t be quite so drawn to throwing rocks and sticks in the nice, contemplative water features and yelling at the top of their lungs, like my five-year-old is prone to do! We only explored a fraction of the trails available, so eventually I’d like to go back, once my kids are bigger or just with adults, and get farther into the back 40.
Despite the imperfections, we had a fun time! It was great to be outside on a warm day, smelling the smells of the late spring, hearing the birds and insects, feeling the different temperatures as we traversed different types of ecosystems, and enjoying the wonder of exploring a new place.