Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Water Falls and Hiking in Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls is the largest state park in Oregon and I think one of the busiest. As I mentioned before,, I was able to get one of the few sites available. We are in one of the only sites right out in the open as most sites are tucked away in the trees.



We have been here a few times and love it. This is the first time in the summer busy season and it is certainly that. We have seen more families with lots of children than anywhere else we have been. However, it is not particularly noisy. Silver Falls is a beautiful state park with 10 waterfalls, a temperate rain forest of Douglas firs and western hemlocks, creeks, including a swimming beach area, meadows. There are more than 22 miles of hiking and a 4 mile bike trail and even an off leash pet area. WOW, no wonder it is so busy, besides being about 30 miles from Salem and about an hour's drive from Portland. We took hikes on all 3 full days we were here. We started off taking a hike on a trail right near our campsite.




Streams and moss on the trees and plants and flowers everywhere. This trail wasn't the one I thought it was and so after walking for awhile we turned around and headed back. It turned out it was the nature trail and if we kept going it looped around. Anyway, we went back to the MH and got the map. Actually we had a few maps and they didn't seem to list the same trails, but we figured out which way we wanted to go. We headed through the campground and towards the pet area and the lodge.






Here is the swimming area.


We stopped at the dog park area. It is not fenced in but is just a big meadow area. We let Savannah off her leash. There was another dog there. It was a 11 week old puppy that was already a little bigger than Savannah. At first Savannah was shy and hiding under the picnic table but soon she was running around being chased by the puppy which she loves. I was so busy watching them and talking to the owner of the puppy that I forgot to take any pictures. Errr!! We walked back to the campground and sat out for awhile doing some reading. Weather is nice, just right for hiking and relaxing as it is not too hot or too cold.


The next day we went straight back towards the lodge and the south falls area. I love those mossy trees.


Below is a gift shop and there is also a lodge with another small gift shop and cafe near by.



Below is the map showing where the waterfalls are located.

We checked out the South Falls waterfall from above. Dogs are not allow to walk down the trail that goes all the way to the bottom of the waterfall. We did that our last time here. In fact we took the trails around about 5 of the trails then. That was a long hike with lots of up and down the hills. That was a workout for sure.





Savannah would have liked to take the trail. Why our humans so silly to not let dogs go on all the trails she thinks.


Later in the afternoon, we took a drive to Silverton as we needed a few things at the store. On the way, we passed the many Christmas tree farms we remembered from being here before. Another beautiful drive.




Wednesday was another day for hiking. We drove over to the trail head at Winter Falls. We planned to hike to the North Falls Viewpoint, about a mile one way. Not sure what happen to the Winter Falls. It is one of the bigger falls but didn't seem to be flowing for some reason. We hiked the beautiful trail through the rain forest.




I am not knowledgable about mushrooms and so don't know if this is edible or not. A pretty mushroom however.


Hey, I want to go swimming.


North Falls is one of the largest waterfalls at 136 feet. There is a huge grotto behind the waterfall. We are on the dog friendly rim trail, but the trails down to the various waterfalls are not unfortunately, At least we got a good view from above.



We had some snacks at the North Falls trail head and then headed back. Another great hike under our belt.

We had a good time here at Silver Falls and it is certainly a place we will return to when we are up in the area again.

Our next stop is Cathlamet, Washington and then back towards the coast of Washington and the Olympic Park area.

Stay tuned.

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