Silver Falls State Park
South Falls of Silver Creek

With government shutdowns becoming frequent and so much damage happening in National Parks due to unregulated traffic, I thought I’d highlight a few state parks worth checking out.

One of the first places we explored during our summer in Oregon was Silver Falls State Park, located near Salem. The spot had been recommended by a colleague of mine who is from Oregon and who actually got married in the lodge on site. Such a charming place!

North Falls of Silver Creek in Summer

We headed to the park to hike the Trail of Ten Falls. Yep, ten waterfalls. In just over 7 miles, we hiked over, around, and behind waterfalls ranging from small to large (over hundreds of feet). We visited in summer and the foliage was decidedly Oregonian (moss, etc) but didn’t quite have the Pacific Northwest feel we were expecting. Earlier in the summer or in fall or spring, we suspect the classically wet weather in the area would make the moss thrive even more and create some smaller trickles along the trail.

The hiking is fairly easy, with under 1000 feet of elevation gain across the hike. The trail is mostly unpaved but it was fairly smooth. We started from the South Falls area but you can start at any of the main trailheads in the park and make it a loop with the Canyon and Rim trails.

Afterwards, we snagged ice cream cones (of course!) from the cafe.

Parking at the State Park is just $5 but if you are planning to check out more of Oregon, you might just get an annual pass. The State Parks pass is particularly handy along the coast, where most areas are either National or State park lands.