Silver Falls State Park – Trail of Ten Falls
The trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park is one of the best day hikes I have ever completed. It is not very strenuous. It is not very long (8.7 miles). But during this hike you will get to experience some of the best waterfalls in North America. One note to keep in mind, dogs are not allowed on the waterfall trails. Best to keep Fido at home for this one.
South Falls – 177 feet
Lower South Falls – 93 feet
Double Falls – 178 feet
Middle North Falls – 106 feet
Winter Creek – 134 feet
North Falls – 136 feet
Where else can you see so many waterfalls over 100 feet in less then 10 miles of hiking? And not only do you get to see them, but on a couple of them, you get to actually walk behind the waterfall. Talk about breathtaking. The feeling of how much power these waterfalls generate is amazing! Watch the videos at the bottom of this post to understand what I am saying.
When hiking this trail, I recommend starting on the Rim Trail. This will leave you with the spectacular South Falls at the very end of the hike. It sets up the 8.7 mile loop with a picture perfect finish. Also, be prepared to get a little wet. When hiking behind some of the falls (particularly South Falls and Lower South Falls) you will get a little wet from the mist. A rain jacket and something to cover any electronics (camera) will suffice.
When you are not being awestruck by the waterfalls, you will still have plenty of other great sites to see. If you do this hike on a non popular day (I went when it was drizzling), you will truly feel alone at some sections of this hike. It is serene.
Other then that, this is a great hike with easy to follow defined trails. The park does a wonderful job maintaining the trails. It is also very easy to get to and find the park (which is not always the case for Oregon hikes). It took me about an hour and a half to get there from Portland.