Oregon is well-known for its breathtaking natural beauty. Boomer visitors are in for a treat whether it comes to seeing the state’s stunning coastline or fashionable cities, particularly when it comes to waterfalls. Silver Falls State Park should be at the top of your list when it comes to waterfalls, hiking, and history. Based on her sponsored trip to the region, guest author Ann Randall teaches us how to make the most of a Silver Falls State Park visit.
Silver Falls State Park, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, is a waterfall and historical architecture lovers’ paradise. The beautiful Trail of Ten Falls goes across portion of the park’s 9,065 acres and has ten flowing waterfalls.
The route meanders behind four of the falls, giving trekkers a rear perspective of the cascade and mossy grottos produced by the power and heavy spray. The Silver Falls State Park Concession Building Area and Silver Creek Youth Camp are two Historic Districts in the park that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for their examples of Rustic Style architecture.
Silver Falls State Park offers a variety of activities.
This renowned Oregon state park offers lots of activities for active boomer visitors. The biggest of Oregon’s 361 state parks, located in Silverton, approximately 20 miles southeast of Salem, Silverton provides 15 miles of hiking trails, including the Trail of Ten Falls, birdwatching, 14 miles of horse trails, and a 4-mile cycling route for fitness lovers.
- Hiking the Silver Falls paths
The modest 8.7-mile Trail of Ten Falls, designated as a National Recreation Trail, meanders through a beautiful forest, and runs along the banks of Silver Creek for the most of its length. The whole trek takes around 3 hours to walk, depending on how long you pause to photograph the 10 waterfalls.
Four of the waterfalls may also be seen from behind the curtain of pouring water. Anyone who does not want to do the trek in its entirety may do it in portions. Waterproof hiking shoes are recommended for this walk. The Trail of Ten Falls may be rainy and slick in spots, and there is considerable elevation gain and loss.
The Oregon Cascades Birding Trail passes through Silver Falls Park, which is ideal for birdwatchers. Five kinds of owls, two types of grouse, and seven other indigenous bird species live in its low-elevation old-growth conifer forest (a section of North America’s last intact temperate rain forest).
- Interpretation programs
Friends of Silver Falls has a thorough interpretive program that includes hikes and talks about the park’s history, vegetation, and animals, as well as manning the Nature Store. Historic Silver Falls Day and the Christmas Festival are two public events sponsored by the park.
History of the Silver Falls State Park1
Surrounded by forests, a stone home with a shingle roof.
Silver Falls owes its birth to the efforts of a determined local photographer, a US President, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Works Progress Administration’s handicraft talents. The site was originally home to Silver Falls City, an ambitiously called tiny town with a hotel, three businesses, a church, dancehall, tavern, and roughly 200 inhabitants in the late 1800s.
June Drake, a local resident, began a 33-year lobbying campaign in 1900, using his images of the 10 waterfalls to persuade the local chamber of commerce that the area’s unique closeness to the ten falls should be conserved in a park. The site was designated as a state park in 1933. President Franklin D Roosevelt, however, named the area a Recreational Demonstration Area two years later, as part of a programme to demonstrate federal land purchase, development for recreational purposes, and transfer to state governments.
Silver Falls was one of two Recreation Demonstration Areas on the west coast, as well as one of 46 public parks around the country that were extended and improved as part of the government program. Over 200 jobless young men and women were dispatched to Silver Falls in 1935 to build structures, paths, rock walls, and bridges, as well as replace trees, as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration’s back-to-work initiatives. The park was returned to the state of Oregon in 1947, with an additional 5000 acres added to the park’s borders.
Silver Falls has historic architecture
During the time that you spend at Silver Falls State Park, you will be amazed by the beautiful architecture that you see as well. While keeping that in mind, you will need to take a look at the best pieces of architecture that are available for you to explore within the park. Then you can explore them and receive the maximum returns coming on your way.
- Log cabin in the woods
Rustic Style was an architectural style adopted by the National Park Service in the 1930s for all newly developed parks. The Silver Falls State Park buildings were built during the seven years of CCC and WPA construction. The wide park features over 43 instances of Rustic Architecture constructions that emphasize the use of local materials, handcraft labor, and harmony with the natural environment.
- Camp silver Creek
Camp Silver Creek, one of two youth camps established during the era, has forty historic buildings. With a recreation center, craft and eating halls, and cabins, the camp now offers group overnight services.
- South Falls Lodge
The South Falls Lodge, the Nature Store gift store, and the Combination Building, a shelter and kitchen for day use, are among the surviving architectural elements in the park’s historic Concession Building Area.
At Silver Falls State Park, there are many places to stay.
Year-round and seasonal lodgings, as well as day-use and group facilities, are available within the park, ranging from electricity hookups and tent sites to rustic cabins and dorms. At its Howard Creek Horse Camp, it also features rudimentary camping.
It’s a half-hour drive to Silverton, a picturesque town with restaurants, B&Bs, and art galleries, for people who want to take use of the park’s day-use facilities but not the overnight accommodations. Begin your search for Silverton lodging right here.
What is the best way to travel to Silver Falls?
Silver Falls State Park is twenty miles southeast of Salem and roughly 90 minutes south of Portland, on Highway 214. Silver Falls Lodge provides thorough, easy-to-follow travel instructions.
Silver Falls State Park is worth a visit for a variety of reasons.
If you’re like most Oregonians, you’ll probably head to Silver Falls State Park this year. Every year, approximately a million hikers, bikers, trail runners, campers, and horseback riders visit the 9,000-acre park, making it one of Oregon State Parks’ most popular and well-known attractions.
Summer attracts the most visitors, but winter may be the ideal time to go. The temperate rain forest’s trails are less busy than they are in the summer, suitable camping accommodations are simpler to come by, and the park’s famous waterfalls are even more magnificent than normal owing to frequent rainfall. These are just a few of the reasons why the popular park, which is located approximately 25 miles outside of Salem, is a perfect winter retreat for Portlanders looking to reconnect with nature in all her glory. Here are a some of the reasons why you should visit Silver Falls State Park in the winter.
The Ten Falls Trail is a series of ten waterfalls.
Hikers and trail runners may follow the Trail of Ten Falls circle behind the 106-foot Middle North Falls.
The Trail of Ten Falls is the highlight of Silver Falls State Park. The whole circle, which is just under nine miles long, affords close-up views of ten spectacular waterfalls—more than five of which are at least 100 feet tall—as well as the chance to stroll behind four of them. Hikers travel through crystal clear waterways, lovely woodlands, and stunning canyon overlooks along the trip. “It’s still incredibly lush and green, even in the winters,” park manager Kevin Strandberg says.
While the park sees a lot of people during the summer, Strandberg adds that the winter is a great time to go because of the high rains—the park gets 80 inches of rain per year on average, compared to only 40 inches in neighboring Salem. “There may be ten times as much water in the waterfalls in the winter as there is in the summer,” he explains. “This time of year, the falls are raging.”
Winter falls, for example, provide much more than the dribble you’d anticipate in the height of summer. “It’s a booming, full-on sort of waterfall,” Strandberg adds following continuous rainfall throughout the autumn and winter.
There are several biking options available.
Silver Falls State Park is presently working on a seven-mile single-use mountain bike loop, but riders will have plenty of options in the meanwhile.
A four-mile paved cycling circle has some early hills but is mainly a flat trail that is ideal for families. Cyclists pass through 200- and 300-year-old trees along the trip, gaining a profound appreciation for the park’s natural beauty. “When you’re in there, it absolutely seems like you’re in an isolated rain forest,” Strandberg adds.
Mountain cyclists looking for a more difficult ride might attempt any of the park’s 25 miles of multifunctional backcountry tracks.
Silver Falls Lodge offers comfortable camping.
Silver Falls Lodge is a great place to stay if you Photo Atelier. Even the most lenient notion of “roughing it” would be stretched by the park’s 14 cabins. Electricity, heaters, lights, bunk beds, and a futon are all included in each. While the park’s tent sites are closed for the season, the cabins nevertheless serve as a base for hikers and bikers looking to explore.
Wi-Fi is available at the Silver Falls Historic Lodge, which also sells a variety of traditional American food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Keep an eye out for animals along the route while you’re not near the cabins. In the winter, when the park is less crowded, bobcat, cougar, deer, and bear sightings are more likely, according to Strandberg.
Silver Falls State Park is located 1.5 hours south of Portland, in Silverton, in the Cascade foothills. With ten beautiful waterfalls and 30 miles of temperate rainforest paths, this hidden jewel of a park draws one million people each year.
The famed Trail of Ten Waterfalls loop is not hiked by most people because they lack the time or energy (8.7 miles). Shortcuts to the waterfalls from the three day use locations at South Falls, Winter Falls, and North Falls are a preferable option. See the map for further information.
The breathtaking routes weave along streams, steep cliffs, ravines, and across bridges. Return to a mystical realm filled with maiden hair fern, sword fern, lichen, and moss, as well as a towering canopy of Douglas fir and western hemlock. Silver Falls State Park is worth visiting at any time of year, but the cascades are at their most spectacular in the winter and spring when water flow is at its highest.
At Silver Falls State Park, there’s also overnight accommodation in gorgeous cabins and lodge rooms, as well as lots of campsites. Alternatively, you might stay in Silverton, a beautiful township close.
When you go ahead with hiking adventures in the park, you will come across numerous outstanding attractions. On top of that, you will also be impressed by the excellent recreational opportunities that are available for you to try at the park. The picnic spaces, designated swimming area, and the kids play areas are all outstanding. You will also be able to stay at the South Falls Lodge, which provides you with beverages and snacks that you want. Moreover, there is a campground, giftshop, and a place where you will be able to go ahead with horseback rides to get a perfect overall experience.