Silver Falls - South Falls Hike
Length: 1 mile round trip
Elevation Gain: 280 feet
This is the perfect afternoon hike and the most popular waterfall in Silver Falls State Park. Start from the South Falls Day Use Area, walk down the paved walkway, pass the lodge, to overlook the 177 foot waterfall. Continue down to the bottom of the waterfall. At the fork in the trail you can go either way; it will loop back around to return to the top. If you go left first, you will go behind the waterfall and then across the viewing bridge. If you go right first, you will go across the bridge and then behind the waterfall. Pre-warning the climb back to the top is kind of steep.
What I love most about this hike is being able to go behind the waterfall. Watching the water fall from the very top while standing behind is amazing. It is cool how close you are to the water and the kids love getting sprayed by the mist.
Not only is this waterfall spectacular, but the day use area also has a playground and swimming area. After our hike, we had a picnic and let the kids play at the park and splash in the water. Don't forget to bring swimsuits.
Day Use Parking: $5 per vehicle
Day Use: Year Round
Directions: 40 minute drive from Salem, OR.
Click the link for Google Map Directions.
From Salem: Take OR-22 East. Take exit 9 toward Shaw/Aumsville. Turn right onto 1st St/ Shaw Hwy SE for 0.9 miles. Continue straight onto Brownell Dr SE for 1.3 miles. Continue onto OR-214 N for 11.9 miles. The entrance to the day use area will be on your left.