Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Silver Falls is located 25 miles from Salem and 15 miles from Silverton. Like most other Oregon State Parks, in the summer it is usually full, so plan ahead. Also like other Oregon State Parks in the summer, it can be crowded and noisy. But during our stay, things were fine. We were very close to the playground, so during the day, it could be noisy, but as night fell and got closer to quiet hour, things were very peaceful. Since we stay on the go a lot, it was not an issue.
Silver falls has over 8 miles of hiking trails (no bikes) and 25 miles of bicycle trails within the 9,000 acre park, this includes 4 miles of paved bike trail. Along the 8 mile hiking trail are 10 waterfalls. There are numerous trailheads, so you don’t have to hike the entire 8 miles to view the falls, but park at an appropriate location and a hike to .5 to 1 mile will get you to 2 or 3 waterfalls.
We hiked the North Falls Trail the first day. Its .4 miles up to the Upper North Waterfall, then 1 mile to the Lower North Falls Waterfall. You then go behind the waterfall to a trail on the other side and another mile to the Twin Falls waterfall. Problem is, its all downhill going and all uphill coming back. This includes a long climb of about a hundred concrete steps up the mountain side. Beautiful scenery, but it was a hard couple of miles coming back.
The park has a swimming area, although I bet its cold, it’s a spring feed mountain stream, an historic lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, a large day use area with a snack shack, and small cabins to rent.
Took the bicycle trail this morning. It is a 4 mile paved path running through the park. From our campsite around the loop and return was 6.0 miles. While it is paved, its not in the greatest of shape, lots of frost heaves, root bumps, and potholes, so you need to go slow and watch your path. It’s what I would consider moderate to hard, lots of small hills to climb, great coming down, except its curvy and with all the bumps, caution is key. But it was a good ride on the trike and I enjoyed it.
Above is a collage of the South Falls, Lodge, and Swimming Hole. All are located near the Day Use area of the park. You can also catch the Ten Falls Trail here. The Lodge has a small Café (Snack Bar), and there is a Nature Store with gifts for sale.
I have been riding the bike trail each morning, but coming back via the road. Road is much smoother and allows me to go faster, averaging 10 mph with top speed of 16-17 mph. Very little traffic and its moving slow…