Silver Falls, Oregon’s Largest State Park

About fifteen million years ago, according to Wikipedia, the ocean that once covered all of Oregon, receded. Thus began the formation of Silver Falls State Park, the largest state park in Oregon.

Silver Falls State Park’s most touted feature, and for good reason, is the ten waterfall trail called, very fittingly, Trail of Ten Falls. An 8.7 mile trail upon which visitors can take in the scenic beauty of the park. Four of the ten falls have trails that allow visitors to walk behind the falls, just like we’ve always seen in movies and wondered to ourselves: “I wonder where can I see a cool behind the falls trail like that?” Now you know.

Silver Falls is about a half hour east of Salem, and a quick drive from downtown Silverton. We recommend you stop in to Silverton to take a look around there too! As you can see, this feature is sponsored by the business’ of historic downtown Silverton and there are some real finds! Look for our feature “Antiquing in Oregon” coming soon, we’ll be spending a little more time in Silverton for sure!

History:
Silver Falls City formed in 1888, and was primarily a logging community. By 1900 a Silverton photographer, by the name of June Drake began to create images of the falls, and he started to campaign for the area to receive national park status. Drake Falls is named after him. In 1926 an inspector for the National Park Service, came to take a look, and rejected the area because of an abundance of “unattractive stumps.”

Photo: Majeed Badizadigan

In 1935 President Roosevelt announced the area would become a “Recreational Demonstration Area” the only one of it’s kind in Oregon. The purpose of the 46 areas deemed “Demonstration Areas” in 24 states was threefold: To develop land as a park, to provide new parks near urban areas, and to provide employment via the Conservation Corps’ Works Project Administration program.

Today’s Park:

The area was never designated a National Park, but is today a State Park, and what a state park it is! With so much in the park it’s hard to pick a favorite feature. From the beautiful waterfalls to the conference center to the events that take place year-round. There’s really something for everyone.

There is everything from humble tent campsites, to yurts, to cabins to electrical hookups for RV’s and even a lodge for large groups. Silver Falls really boasts some fantastic features.

The Conference Center at Silver Falls even hosts buffet dinners! Look for the upcoming Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve events coming this Fall and Winter. For reservations, call 503-873-8875. Now THAT’s what we call camping!

Take a look at the web site an go check out Silver Falls. It’s one of Oregon’s greatest assets.

Park Hours:
September – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
October – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nov. 1 to February 28 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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