People call it the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, and once you visit, you know why. Silver Falls State Park is the kind of standout scenic treasure that puts Oregon firmly onto the national—and international—stage. Its beauty, boundless recreational opportunities and historic presence keep it there. Nestled in the foothills of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, less than an hour east of the state capital of Salem, the sprawling 9,200 acre property is the largest state park in Oregon, and one of the most popular.
Waterfalls: Where else can you walk behind a waterfall? Check out the famous South Falls and see what a 177-foot curtain of water looks like from behind. It’s part of the Trail of Ten Falls, a spectacular, nationally recognized hiking trail that weaves through a dense forested landscape. The trail passes a series of breathtaking waterfalls along a rocky canyon, and descends to a winding creek at the forest floor. This 7.2 mile loop is considered to be a moderate hike, with an overall elevation change of 800 feet. Several connecting trails with separate access points make shorter routes. For everyone’s safety— absolutely no pets allowed on the Canyon Trail. Pets on leash are allowed on all other trails.
Boots, bikes, paws, hooves: The park offers more than 25 miles of backcountry trails for mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding. Bears and cougars live in the more remote park areas.
Daytime activities: The South Falls Day-use area has spacious lawns, barbecue stands, picnic shelters, tables, a playground, horseshoe pits, an off lead area for dogs, and a charming creek. Ever since the opening day in 1933, visitors have been using these grounds for potlucks, family reunions and weddings.
Overnight: The main campground has tent sites, RV spots and cabins. Bring your horse and stay in the horse campground. If you need an area for many people, the park also has group tent and RV camps, dormitory-style bunkhouses (each Ranch sleeps 75) and the historic Youth Camp for up to 250 campers.
The Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center offers a variety of amenities for all visitors to the park. Relax and enjoy comfortable lodging within the wooded setting, or feast at the many catered specialty events. Enjoy a preordered meal at the historic dining hall or order a box lunch to take on a hike or to your campsite. They also specialize in hosting special events! Visit silverfallslodge.com or call 866-575-8875.