Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Silver Falls, A State Park Jewel - Mon., June 15, 2015

Early morning wake up call today to get ready for a 13k (8 mile) hike in Silver Falls State Park. This is the first official walk of the American Volkssport Association Convention being held in Salem, Oregon this week.

My driving start time from Mom's house was 6:30 a.m. to make it to the park by 8:00 a.m. The morning was sunny and clear with light traffic on I-5. Once off the interstate and state highway 22, the landscape changed. I traded Texas palm trees, live oak, cactus and mesquite trees for Christmas tree farms, grass-seed farms, foothills, Douglas fir trees, and a state park with 11 waterfalls.

Darren and Susan, Mike and Cathy (also from Texas) met me at Silver Falls State Park. We joined the line waiting to sign in at 8:00 a.m.

Volksmarch start point for the Silver Falls walk/hike
Because I had pre-registered and paid a couple of months ago, I had a walk start card already prepared with all my walks for the week listed on it. Each time I go to a walk this week, I'm already signed up so my number just gets checked off the list at the beginning of the walk. Susan and Darren did not sign up early, so they had to wait in line and pay.

Mike, Cathy, Darren, Susan and I started the walk together. After the first waterfall, Mike and Cathy told us we didn't need to wait for them, so the three of us took off at our medium-to-fast pace.

South Falls 177'
Darren had never been to Silver Falls State Park before. (Susan and I hiked it in 2014.) The three of us loved the coolness of the morning, the beauty of the forest, the sound of the water as we followed the Canyon Trail, and the bird sounds all around us. I didn't stop to take too many photos today because we were moving right along.

Our next waterfall was down 185 stairs, but still on the main path, so we didn't have to go back up them. We'd be climbing out of the canyon farther down the trail. Lower South Falls did not have near the volume of water going over it as it did last year.

Lower South Falls 93' in 2015
We also hiked past Lower North Falls (30'), took a short side trip up to Double Falls (178'), Drake Falls (27'), Middle North Falls (106'), Twin Falls (31'), North Falls (136'), and Upper North Falls (65').
North Falls
The Trail of Ten Falls goes behind North Falls
After North Falls is the climb out of the Canyon Trail. At the top, we would have the checkpoint for our walk.

Stairs out of the canyon
At the checkpoint, volunteers manned a booth and checked us in. The local club volunteers were the Albany Fitness Walkers. Boy did they have a spread for us: brownies, chocolate chip cookies, grapes, watermelon, hard candy, and another type of cookie. Very good checkpoint. There was also a restroom at the North Falls parking lot, so we made use of that as well.

From the checkpoint, we had the option to add 1k to our 12k walk by hiking the easy, flat trail to Upper North Falls. We did it and had a very easy stroll out and back to Upper North Falls.
Upper North Falls
We conned someone into taking our photo -
me, Susan M. and Darren M.
From Upper North Falls we took the Rim Trail back along the top of the canyon. We didn't see Winter Falls because we were at the top of it and you couldn't see it unless you hiked down a steep trail. We didn't want to add any more up and down hills at that point. Soon we were back at the start point where we had our Volksmarch books stamped. It was a little after 11 a.m. We had hiked 8 miles in three hours, 15 minutes!!

There was a hot dog lunch for $5 at the finish. We opted to eat there and had a hot dog, chips, Famous Amos Cookies, grapes and lemonade. That tastes so good when you're really hungry!

Susan and Darren waited for Mike and Cathy to return from the hike (as they were riding with them back to Salem). I went to Salem to pick up my convention packet, then to Lake Oswego to pick up a copy of my car insurance card. (I left mine in my car in Texas.)

I returned to Mom's house about 3 p.m. That night for dinner she made turkey meatballs with gravy, mashed yams, and asparagus. I am not going hungry on this vacation. Good thing I'll be walking so much.

Tomorrow will be a Volksmarch in Vancouver, Washington. We will be meeting there at 9 a.m. Looking forward to it. The weather will be cooler tomorrow.

Travel Bug out.


  1. One of our favorite and most beautiful hikes. Bet you love the cooler temps! Enjoy your walks and vacation!

  2. How interesting Susan. I really must look into this. The park looks terrific and any hike/walk that takes you to waterfall after waterfall is the one for me. That's a really good pace you all were doing.

  3. I love when you post pictures of Silver Falls State Park. I hope to get there this year.

  4. Hey Susan, nice to see you at home in Oregon in one of our favorite state parks. Love love love those hikes behind the falls. Reminds me we need to get back there again.

  5. Just catching up after Panhandle trip. Great waterfalls.


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