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long exposure shot of the waterfall at Silver Falls State Park

Known for its outstanding waterfalls, Silver Falls State Park is one of the more enchanting state parks in Oregon.

Situated near the city of Salem, it covers an area of more than 9,000 acres and is home to no less than 10 cascades.

The most famous of these is the magnificent 177-foot South Falls.

If you are into hiking you can tackle the Trail of Ten Falls. An 8.7-mile loop that takes visitors past all of them whilst showcasing scenic views of the surrounding forest.

Should that prove a bit too energetic for you, horseback riding is another way to view some of them, while you will also find several picnicking spots dotted along the way.

Visitors to Silver Falls State Park can also take part in fishing and boating at the nearby Santiam River. Campers, meanwhile, will find a modern area with both primitive RV and tent sites as well as those which come with full hookups.

Activities

Guests who head to Silver Falls State Park can choose to immerse themselves within its scenic landscape in a myriad of different ways.

Listed below is a brief synopsis of some of the primary activities you can partake in during your visit there.

Fishing at Silver Falls State Park

Be sure to pack your rods and reels with you when you come to Silver Falls State Park as you will be able to cast a line in the parts of the Santiam River and its tributaries that lie within its boundaries.

To fish there you will need a current, valid Oregon fishing licence and of course you will have to abide by all state fishing regulations. However, once you have secured them, you will be able to fish for rainbow trout, steelhead, and smallmouth bass.

Silver Creek at Silver Falls State Park during Autumn

Hiking at Silver Falls State Park

Hiking is one of the park’s major draws and there are several trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty winding through it.

As well as its 10 waterfalls, which you can see on the aforementioned and aptly named Trail of Ten Falls, the trails also take you through landscapes of lush, bosky forest.

If you attempt this trail it should take you between 4 and 6 hours to complete. However, if that provides too much of a challenge, you can also choose to tackle a selection of other easier nature walks or moderate backcountry treks that lie within the park.

Hikers are encouraged to bring plenty of water, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and to follow Leave No Trace principles to help protect the park’s natural resources.

Before starting your hike, be sure to check the park’s website or contact the main office for information on trail conditions, maps, and any other important details.

Horseback Riding at Silver Falls State Park

While Silver Falls State Park does not have designated equestrian trails, visitors with horses may use the park’s roads for riding.

Visitors who bring horses to the park must follow the park’s rules and regulations, as well as the Leave No Trace principles for horseback riding.

Equestrians should also be aware that the park’s roads may be busy with vehicles and other park guests, and they should take appropriate safety precautions while riding.

Hiking trail at Silver Falls State Park

Birding at Silver Falls State Park

The park contains a mix of terrain that includes old-growth forests, riparian areas, and open meadows. All of which support a rich variety of bird species.

Among the many bird species that can be seen in the park are pileated woodpeckers, northern flickers, western tanagers, and warblers.

Birders can explore the park on foot, using the park’s hiking trails to access different habitats. Some of the best birding opportunities can be found along the Santiam River and its tributaries, as well as in the park’s old-growth forests.

Prior to setting off on a birding adventure, be sure to bring along a good pair of binoculars, a field guide, and a birding checklist to help you identify the species you see.

It’s always a good idea to check with the park office or a local birding club for the most up-to-date information on birding opportunities in the park, as well as any special regulations that may be in place.

Pets

You are welcome to bring your pet with you to Silver Falls State Park, however they are only allowed in designated areas. They are not permitted in any park buildings, picnic areas, or on trails.

During their time in the park dogs must at all times be restrained on a maximum of a six foot long leash. Owners are also expected to clean up after their animal and should dispose of pet waste in the appropriate trash receptacles.

cave behind the waterfall at Silver Falls State Park

Camping

For those who want to stay overnight at the park there are several camping options available to visitors, including RV sites and tent camping areas.

The RV sites offer full hookups, including water, electricity, and sewer. In addition, some of them also have cable TV and Wi-Fi.

Should you prefer something a bit more rustic, there are several primitive tent camping areas within the park. Some of these are accessible by car, while others are more remote and accessible only by foot.

If you want to stay in this particular campground, you must register at the park office before setting up camp.

All equipment should also be kept within designated camping areas, however, you will be able to light campfires in designated fire rings. (Firewood can be purchased at the park office).

Park Location

Silver Falls State Park
20024 Silver Falls Hwy SE
Sublimity, OR 97385
Phone: 800.551.6949

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a great video showing a virtual hike Silver Falls State Park: