In McKenzie Bridge, Oregon along the McKenzie River is the Belknap Hot Springs, a natural wonder is turned into a peaceful get-a-way. It was established in 1869 and today has two modern hot spring pools surrounded by beautifully landscaped lush gardens that can be enjoyed by a wheelchair traveler. The lodge is equipped with wheelchair accessible dressing rooms for the hot spring mineral pools as well as restrooms. Just to the left of the lodge are a few picnic tables in case you want to bring something to eat. This wheelchair friendly destination is a hidden gem of Oregon.
To access the various gardens take the bridge over the hot springs river and follow the path that’s surrounded by vines to the right. Though the bridge is sturdy, there are a couple of large cracks that a small wheel could get stuck in, so cross carefully.
One of the first things you’ll see is a beautiful recreation of a Greek pool. This is a very popular spot that people rent out for wedding ceremonies. A few areas use the plants, flowers, and accessories found in traditional Japanese gardens.
There are many different types of surfaces that make up the paths meandering through the many gardens, but none too difficult. Some areas might take a little more planning and precaution but are well worth it in order to dazzle your eyes with the variety of plant-life and color reflecting off pools of water.
The drive to the Belknap Hot Springs is a destination in itself. Alongside the road most of the time you can see or hear the Mckenzie river. Since it rains a lot in Oregon, the surroundings are always a bright green and every so often you can see and old-fashioned covered bridge, which are still in use, like the Belknap Bridge. Also on the way is the town of Sisters and the Sisters Mts. The Sahale-Sahalie Waterfall is another attraction that’s worth exploring.