Friday, July 10, 2009

Silver Falls State Park

We were up and out early this morning for a day of hiking.  Our destination was Silver Falls State Park about 25 miles east of Salem.  The drive was as beautiful as the hike.  Once we got on highway 22, about 5 miles from our campground, we were in rural Oregon.  Like on our drive to Salem, today we passed beautiful rolling farmland.  We didn’t see much cattle today, but there were hundreds of acres of hay interspersed with tree farms.  The whole area was just gorgeous.
South Falls
Silver Falls State Park is a real jewel for the state of Oregon. There are several trails within the park, but we selected the Canyon Trail and the Rim Trail to for an 8 mile loop.  Canyon Trail fallows the north and south forks of Silver Creek as it falls in a series of waterfalls through the canyon.  Along the course of Canyon Trail, we passed 10 waterfalls.
Lower South Falls
About three quarters of the way around, we came to the “lodge” at the South Falls area.  The building, which is a small gift shop and cafe, was built in the 1940-41 by the CCC.  There were several picnic tables outside which offered a great place for a lunch break.  After we finished our hike, we drove back to the lodge for an ice cream bar and an ice cold coke.
Middle North Falls

North Falls
The Rim Trail portion of our hike took us back to the truck along the other side of the canyon.  This was a woods walk mostly, but the section where we were on the edge of the canyon did not offer views of the falls.
Upper North Falls
This is a very popular park and there were a lot of people on the trails today.  Weekends are especially busy.  But despite the crowds, this was a very nice place to visit just for the spectacular beauty of the falls.  Even if you don’t hike, Upper North Falls, North Falls, Lower South Falls, and South Falls are all within a very short distance of a parking lot.

Tomorrow is moving day again.  We’re not going far, however.  Just up to Portland--about 70 miles.

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