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Things to Do at Silver Falls State Park

The Trail of Ten Falls might be the biggest attraction at Silver Falls State Park but it's far from the park's only wonder. Enjoy a picnic, head out on a quiet hike, hop into your mountain bike's saddle, or even climb a massive Douglas fir tree across the park's 9,000 acres. Here's a rundown on the many ways to have fun away from the waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park.

You could visit the South Falls Day-use Area at the southwest edge of the park, never step foot on a trail and still have a memorable day at the park. The sweeping day-use area hosts several lawns with horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, and barbecue grills (perfect for picnicking); a small gift shop and nature store (operated by Friends of Silver Falls); the historic South Falls Lodge, which hosts a small cafe, restrooms, and (on rainy and snowy days) a crackling fireplace; volunteers who can answer questions about flora, fauna, where to explore; an off-leash pet area; and more.

In all, the park hosts 45 miles of trails across its 9,000 acres. The three-mile Smith Creek Trail, for instance, heads through a forest of big-leaf maple that turns vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red each fall and the park's one-mile Nature Trail is a family-friendly footpath that shows off impressive wildflower displays each spring. The Perimeter Trail, meanwhile, heads away from the crowds and into a forest of 400-year-old Douglas fir trees; wildflowers bloom into early summer along the trail, as well.

mountain biking paths

In recent years, trail builders have worked to improve access for all users across the park an ongoing effort that brought us the six-mile Catamount Trail, which delivers flowing, cross-country rides through a towering forest; turns, berms, and rock features challenge beginner and intermediate riders along the way.

tree climbing at silver falls

Open since 2021, Tree Climbing at Silver Falls delivers exactly what it promises: The venture offers tree-climbing lessons and the opportunity to (safely) ascend Douglas fir trees that are nearly 300 feet tall. Options include introductory climbs, sunset climbs, multi-day courses, and even kid camps.

If you brought your bike, the park's four-mile cycling loop path makes a great way to travel between the day-use areas, the campground, a spacious meadow, and other fun areas. The path is mostly paved and somewhat flat (with occasional rolling hillsides). Your little ones will love the park's Nature Play Area, where a 0.25-mile trail travels among 16 play areas each themed around a different animal. Attractions include a dirt pit where children can dig for rocks and fossils, climb through a hollow log, and more.  

Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

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