We left Salem, Oregon Monday morning and drove 38 miles to Silver Falls State Park. We stopped there on our very first RV trip, in a Cruise America rental, six or seven years ago. I was not disappointed by this revisit.
It's all about the waterfalls. Ten falls, plus dozens of side trickles and gushes, all on an eight mile loop trail.
Monday afternoon we walked two and a half miles on the south end of the gorge to see the South Falls and the Lower South Falls. The trail goes under an enormous rock outcropping behind the South Falls. The thunderous power of the water is amazing.
The trail was not hard, although I was glad I had my poles along to keep me steady going over the many rocks and roots. I am so glad to be able to hike again. We missed out on so many good walks last summer as the broken bones and tendonitis in my foot healed. But I feel I need to be extra careful, and slow down when I feel any discomfort.
The river canyon was unbelievably green. Heavy moss and ferns covered the trees and ground.
Craig kept checking the fern fiddleheads, looking for a perfect one. Most were either just starting or too far unfurled. He finally found a good one!
So much to take in! The first image above is the remains of a large tree that was burned out. I wondered, how in such a wet place there could have been a fire, but since many of the trees tower above the sides of the canyon, I guess that they must have been struck by lightning.
Yes, it was this green!
Many side water flows joined the river below.
Spring has got to be the best time to visit, for the sheer volume of water pounding down over the falls.
This tree is really fighting the forces to keep standing.
This one lost.
There were a lot of flowers along the trail, but most of them were so tiny our cameras couldn't capture them. My next camera has to have a macro feature! I've had it before and it is fun to take pictures of the tiny things. But for now, the Trilliums were big enough to photograph.
It's hard to say which falls I like the best, but since the Winter Falls had such a nice bench overlooking the pool below, it was at the top of my list. Speaking of the "top." Our hike was not quite over. We had to take a switchback trail up to the top of this canyon wall, and then walk another mile to the Jeep.
It was a long day, but will always be a treasured memory.
I'm so glad this is a State Park and not a National Monument. It will still be here for future generations to enjoy.