Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weekly Schedule: June 23-July 1

Weekly Schedule: June 15-23

We are starting up our campground programs this week! Feel free to join us for a Junior Ranger Program or and evening presentation.

Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival Photos

Below are some photos from our 39th annual Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival. Due to cold, rainy weather, crowds were small, but everyone seemed to enjoy the activities offered.

Over 100 species of native plants were on display in the South Falls Lodge.

Professional Birding Guide Steve Shunk led visitors on a number of bird walks. Here, participants are watching a red-breasted sapsucker (a type of woodpecker) drumming on a light pole.

Susan Lafontaine and Stanley the Great Horned Owl from the Oregon Raptor Center presented a program about raptors titled “Feathered Hunters, Flying Mothers”

Friends of Silver Falls Interpreter Kim Maley arranging plants for the Native Plant Sale. We partnered with Champoeg Nursery this year and were able to provide 49 different species of native plants for sale.

The South Falls Lodge was a great place to escape from the rain! The native plant display continued its tradition of being one of the most popular activities of the event.


Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival Event Schedule

We are gearing up for our 39th Annual Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival this weekend, May 13th and 14th. Most of the activities this year will take place on Saturday, however there will be guided walks and nature sketching classes offered on Sunday as well. The native plant display in the South Falls Lodge, bird nest box building with the Salem Audubon Society, and the native plant sale will take place both Saturday and Sunday. Most activities take place in the South Falls Day-Use Area, but two guided bird hikes will be held elsewhere in the park – those locations are noted on the map below.

The event is free, but please note that a $5 daily parking permit is required; in addition, the Audubon Society charges a $5 materials fee for building bird nest boxes.

We look forward to seeing you for another great year of birding and wildflowers!


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

Join us for an Owl Prowl!

Did you know that there are nine species of owls that live at Silver Falls State Park? Have you ever wanted to learn more about owls?

Silver Falls State Park will be hosting two Owl Prowls this spring! These evening programs give an overview of owls, let you have a chance to dissect an owl pellet, and join rangers on a short nighttime hike to call for some owls – with any luck, they’ll call back!

Pre-registration is required for these events and each is limited to 40 people. The dates for this year’s events are:

Saturday, February 25th at 6:00 pm and

Saturday, March 25th at 7:00 pm

Both Owl Prowls will be held at the Old Ranch at Silver Falls and will last approximately 2 hours. The events are free, but you’ll need to purchase a $5 parking permit. For more information or to register, call the interpretive office at (503) 874-0201.

We hope to see you there!



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.


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!



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!

Christmas Festival Event Guide

It’s almost time for the 39th Annual Christmas Festival! Below is the guide for the event activities, which will take place Saturday, December 10th from 11 am to 4 pm in the South Falls Historic District.


With this week’s winter weather, we are watching the forecast closely. Check up on the park’s weather forecast here or call the park at (503) 874-0201 to check on conditions.

October Guided Hikes


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.


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.


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!