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Jul-12-2006 13:08printcomments

Silver Creek Falls State Park Offers Something For Everyone

Nestled in the mountains east of Salem, the waterfalls at Silver Creek Falls are one of the most popular natural attractions in the Salem area.

Silver Creek Falls photos
Photos by: Kevin Hays

(SILVERTON) - Nestled in the lower elevation of Oregon's Cascade Mountains lies a temperate rain forest.

It is here that the Trail of Ten Falls/Canyon Trail can be found.

The Canyon Trail and the falls descend to a forest floor covered with ferns, mosses, and wildflowers.

You will also find stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, and cedar.

While thousands visit the park every year, it is large enough for you to find quiet places to sit and watch for birds.

The Canyon Trail is a nationally recognized trail system that leads hikers along the banks of the north and south forks of Silver Creek.

It takes you to 10 majestic waterfalls, ranging from the grand South Falls (177 feet), to the delicate Drake Falls (27 feet).

Four of the falls have an amphitheater-like surrounding where you can walk behind the falls and feel the misty, crisp spray.

Because the Canyon Trail is narrow and bordered by sharp drop-offs in spots, bicycles, skateboards, in-line skates, and pets are not allowed on the canyon trail.

The South Falls Lodge, built of native stone and logs, with two large fireplaces, was originally designed as a restaurant. It was originally known as the Concession Building. It measures 65 feet by 112 feet. It was completed in the spring of 1941 at a cost of $22,458.62 for materials. Its furnishings were crafted by the Civilian Conservation Corps from myrtlewood from designs by Margery Hoffman Smith of the Oregon Arts Project, part of the WPA

Please note Special Rules on Pets: Silver Falls State Park welcomes visitors and their pets. Please keep in mind these rules.

Going for a walk: The park has over 25 miles of trails for hiking (14 miles of horse trails) that are pet friendly. If you have any questions about which trails will accommodate pets, check with park staff, or refer to the Silver Falls State Park Trail Guide for more information on pet restrictions.

Control your pet: While in the park, keep your pet on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Your pet must be able to respond to your commands, and you must be physically capable of restraining your pet. This rule protects you and your pet, other visitors, and park wildlife (Silver Falls is a designated state wildlife refuge).

Be a good neighbor: For sanitary reasons, bag and remove all pet wastes. For your convenience, Mutt Mitt dispensers are located throughout the park. Also, never leave your pet unattended, whether in the campground or picnic areas.

Please stay on marked trails and within designated day-use areas at all times. For your safety, respect any posted trail closure notices.

Overnight Facilities:

At Silver Falls, you will find unique group camping areas like the Old and New Ranch buildings, Silver Creek Youth Camp, North Falls trailer and tent areas, RV, cabin and tent camping in the overnight campground. Additional cabin rentals and complete group accommodations can be found at the Silver Falls Conference Center (rates listed below are for the campground cabins, not the conference center cabins).

Horse Rentals:

Guided daytime horse trail rides for people of all abilities are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day for $27 +$3 insurance surcharge per person (covers a 1-hour ride and horse rental). For more information, or to make special arrangements, call (503) 873-3890.

Park Hours:

  • June 1st to August 31st - 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
  • September - 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
  • October - 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
  • November 1st to February 28th - 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • March - 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • April - 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
  • May - 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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