Saturday afternoon, on our way home from what will likely be one of the last freckle-inducing fishing excursions of the summer, Eric and I decided to stop in at a place we'd rolled past plenty of times, but never made time to see. Just this side of Metaline is a big sign that says Sweet Creek Rest Area — even if you don't feel like resting, pull in and get out of your car. Walk to the trailhead, and follow the meandering path to a fantastic surprise.
This respite was discovered by a bunch of homesteaders (back in the day when there wasn't a whole lot of respite going on) who cleared some of the dense forest, created a log flume that led to the Pend Orielle, and left behind some amazing scenery that still holds traces of their history.
It takes only 5 minutes to reach the falls from the trailhead, and just about anyone can make it to the overlook bridge. Along the way there are secluded picnic tables, loads of flora and fauna and all around the sweet smell of the forest. There are other trails aroudn the water that you can hike, one that takes you up to the top of the falls where you'll see the remnants of a bridge that I think used to lead to the original homestead plot.
Bring a sweatshirt if you plan to get close to the water because all that flumage creates a chilly wind. Also, bring a camera. It's worth writing home about.
You'll find Sweet Creek Rest Area on Highway 31, just south of Metaline.