Silver Falls Tour Route
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A pleasing detour for I-5 travelers, this 55-mile/89-kilometer pastoral route loops through a verdant park filled with waterfalls and rolling farmlands with distant views of the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges.
Woodburn to Mt. Angel
Shoppers often associate Woodburn with top-name designer goods and outlet bargains along I-5. Travel a few miles east to discover a productive agricultural area, too. The home of its founder, Jesse Settlemier, still stands proudly on a downtown corner. Nearby, a host of family-run Mexican restaurants line 99E and Front Street as testament to this historically Hispanic burg, which has the largest percentage of Latinos of any Oregon town.
Swiss-German heritage is evident in Mt. Angel, with its Bavarian-style architecture and a glockenspiel that plays four times a day. The community hosts the Pacific Northwest’s largest Oktoberfest every September.
The route travels along OR-214 south toward Silverton, and the surrounding farms showcase some key Oregon crops, including hop vines (used in beer making), hazelnut groves and marionberries, a blackberry cultivar named after this county, Marion. A quick detour west on Downs Road leads to the 1917 Gallon House Covered Bridge, supposedly named for its covert whiskey sales during Prohibition. Silverton’s vibrant downtown makes a good lunch stop before an afternoon at the Oregon Garden, with 80 acres of specialty botanical gardens, concerts and other events.
OR-214 twists and climbs past the Silverton Reservoir and through acre after acre of Christmas tree farms. Eventually they give way to a tall canopy of fir and hemlock as you approach Silver Falls State Park. More than 25 miles/40.2 kilometers of trail wind through this lush 9,000- acre park, Oregon’s largest. The Trail of Ten Falls passes above, below and even behind the park’s cascades, several more than 100 feet high. Overlooks and short walks also provide worthy waterfall views.
The highway exits the south end of the park, descending out of forest and bending in broad S-curves through scenic farmland. Turn left on the Cascade Highway, passing through the rural hamlets of Sublimity, Aumsville and Turner to return to I-5.
related Trip Ideas
Now that the sun has finally begun to poke through the clouds, the weather is just about perfect for an afternoon hike. And I’ve found that even if the weather is unpredictable, Silver Falls is still worth the trip. I hadn’t been back to…
Recenlty my mom, my 22-month-old son and I made the drive 25 miles east of Salem to Silver Falls State Park. We made the trip on a weekday, which was a great idea. The normally busy parking lot only held about four other cars when we pulled in. The…
Venture off I-5 at Woodburn for a day of diverse activities. Woodburn Company Stores, one of Oregon’s top tourist attractions, offers great retailers, a visitor information center, kids’ play area with tree house and assorted eateries. …
When you’re asked to write a blog about your boss’s 50th birthday a lot of thoughts immediately come to mind There are those people who enjoy recounting the day they turned another year older and then there are those who want to…
Majestic mountains (such as Hood and Rainier) soar over lush green fields except in the forest areas; these areas are filled with Douglas Firs that sunlight can’t quite part. Silver Falls State Park is intimate in spite of the thunder of its…
At Silver Falls State Park, fourteen foamy white curtains whirl and ripple and tumble and shimmer at one of the most delightful park lands in Oregon. Adam Bacher, an Oregon resident and noted landscape photographer, said he’s lucky enough to…
When you prep for the holidays, it helps to have good friends to share the work. People who go the extra mile and make the event fun because the holidays are special just like Silver Falls State Park. Lou Nelson, President of the Friends of Silver…
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Keep in mind many of the routes listed here travel through remote areas where gas stations are few and far between. And since road and weather conditions can be hazardous, even into summer, we urge you to call 800-977-6368 or check Trip Check before starting out.