2019 Silver Falls Owl Prowls

Owling season is upon us! Join park rangers for one in a series of owl prowls at the park this winter and spring. These evening events will include an indoor presentation about owls, a chance to dissect an owl pellet, and a guided nighttime walk to call for owls. Space is limited and preregistration for these events is required. Registration opens January 7, 2019 at the Oregon State Parks online store here.

The events are free – all that is required is a $5 daily parking permit – or you can buy an annual parking permit for just $30, also available for sale in the online Park Store!

For more information, email interpretive ranger Matt Palmquist at matt.palmquist@oregon.gov or call (503) 874-0201.

2019 Spring Field Trip Dates

All spring field trips are now booked. If you are still interested in bringing students to the park for a field trip, self-guided materials are available. Contact park ranger Matt Palmquist at matt.palmquist@oregon.gov for more information.

Fall 2018 Field Trip Dates

Listed below are available school field trip dates for fall 2018**.

**Spring 2019 field trip dates will be posted here on September 26, 2018.

 

Operation Owl Prowl: Success!

We recently hosted our first Owl Prowl for the season at the Old Ranch. We had a very enthusiastic group of 27 (mostly first time) owlers. We had perfect weather and were rewarded by hearing a pair of Barred Owls who responded when we called them. They were very vocal – and barred owls have a very unique call! Click here to hear the sound of a pair of barred owls “caterwauling” – one of the calls they make when communicating with each other.

We are hosting a second owl prowl on Saturday, March 25th. As March 2, all spots have been filled, but we can add you to the waiting list in case somebody cancels.

A Barred Owl at Silver Falls State Park

A Barred Owl at Silver Falls State Park

 

The Old Ranch before the Owl Prowl

The Old Ranch before the Owl Prowl

Winter (Wildlife) Wonderland

Winter has officially arrived at here at Silver Falls with a 2″ blanket of snow and subfreezing temperatures. The waterfalls and South Falls Historic District look especially enchanting in the snow.

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South Falls

 

Looking down from the top of South Falls

Looking down from the top of South Falls

 

The fresh snow also presents a wonderful opportunity to observe wildlife tracks. Many tracks can be found throughout the park, but here are some highlights. Can you guess what they are? Click the link below each track to find out who left it!

 

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Hint: I love to get into trash cans! Who am I?

 

Hint: I'm one of the most common forest birds

Hint: I’m one of the most common forest birds Who am I?

 

 

Hint: I often store food in my cheek pouches

Hint: I often store food in my cheek pouches Who am I?

 

Hint: I have antlers!

Hint: I have antlers! Who am I?

 

Hint: I'm an extremely adaptable canine

Hint: I’m an extremely adaptable canine Who am I?

 

Hint: Notice there are no claws on this track. They're retractable!

Hint: Notice there are no claws on this track. They’re retractable! Who am I?

We welcome all visitors to enjoy the park in winter, but remember to be prepared for cold and icy conditions!

Changing of the Seasons

Here at Silver Falls State Park, we get a lot of rain – an average of 80 inches each year, actually – but very little of that falls in the summer months. The rains have returned now, though, and often have a dramatic effect on the stream flow and size of the waterfalls. In the photos below, you can see the change that can happen to South Falls in one short day – the photo on the left was taken Saturday, September 17 and the photo on the right was taken Sunday, September 18th.

waterfall-comparison

The waterfalls will continue to grow in size as the autumn rains return. Another change beginning to occur is the changing of the leaves. The vine maples are just starting to turn their autumn hues of yellow, orange, and red – the most striking of which are located on the forest edges, like the one pictured below.

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Fall is a great time to visit Silver Falls. Join us for one of our guided hikes (listed here under Weekly Schedules) or just to revel in the beauty of the changing of the seasons!

4th of July Fun at Silver Falls

Over 100 people showed up to participate in our annual Independence Day Parade in the Silver Falls Campground! Spirits were high and decorations abounded as we snaked our way through the campground, joined by many of our community partners – staff from the Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center, the YMCA Camp Silver Creek, and the Drakes Crossing Volunteer Fire Department, and a special appearance by our Junior Ranger mascot, JR Beaver. Thanks to all who joined us – we hope to see you all again next year!

Trucks lined up

Stephanie and JR

JR shaking hands

And they're off

Knock knock…who’s there?

It’s a hairy woodpecker! Park staff heard a knocking on the outer wall of the South Falls Lodge, and looked outside to find a hairy woodpecker (Leuconotopicus villosus) pecking around the wall looking for bugs. Note the bird’s powerful beak, zygodactyl (X-shaped) claws, and stiff tail feathers supporting it while it clings to the wall – all of which are adaptations that help woodpeckers in their daily lives.

For more information on these fascinating birds, look here.

Even More Beautiful Paintings by Peace

Friends of Silver Falls Newsletter

Winter 2016 NewsletterWinter 2016 revised

Click on the links above to discover what our wonderful Friends of Silver Falls have been up to this past Winter. 

Our park wouldn’t be the special place we all love without their help – “Friends” indeed!