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.
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.
The 37th Annual Mother’s Day Birding & Wildflower Festival is less than 2 weeks away! Check out what we have in store this year:
No registration is required for any event activities but please arrive early as hikes leave promptly at listed times.
Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, just a short scenic drive from the Willamette Valley, is 9,000 acres of temperate rainforest waiting for you – to explore, play, or simply stop and recharge. Silver Falls State Park, Oregon’s largest State Park, is centrally located in Oregon just east of the State Capital, Salem, and an easy day’s drive from Portland, Eugene, or Bend.
Silver Falls’ namesake comes from the 10 unforgettable waterfalls crashing into the canyon carved by the North and South Forks of Silver Creek – five of these waterfalls are over 100 feet and four you can walk behind! Hike through the mist on the Trail of Ten Falls, a National Recreation Trail, or explore miles of trails beyond the falls through quiet, old-growth forest on foot, bike, or horseback. The Silver Falls Historic District, a must for history-lovers, is filled with rustic-style buildings built by the young men of the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camps which serve today as our South Falls Lodge, Nature Store, and Combination Picnic Shelter, all of which are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Many other visitors enjoy the cool waters of the day use area’s swimming area, lounge in the sun while kids play in one of the three playgrounds, or satisfy their curiosity about natural history through the many interpretative programs and special events offered throughout the year.
Silver Falls State Park is overflowing with lodging and refreshments options to satisfy any visitor – from the full-service Silver Falls Lodge & Conference Center complete with cabins, meals, a swimming pool, and meeting facilities to the campgrounds with 100 tent/RV sites, cabins, and group camping facilities. Popular for family reunions and weddings, the two “ranches” offer another unique lodging option all under one roof – complete with bunks, full kitchens, and a center fire-pit you won’t soon forget on a chilly evening with your friends. The YMCA camp is reservable outside of the summer season and also has many CCC-era historical buildings along with a swimming pool and full commercial kitchen. Snacks and refreshments are conveniently located in the Silver Creek Grill next to the swimming area’s D Shelter and in the Café in the South Falls Lodge, while meals and seasonal buffets are found in the Silver Falls Lodge & Conference Center.
The rangers at Silver Falls State Park have but one word of advice – it is very difficult to take in all that Silver Falls has to offer in one day so plan to stay awhile or come back and visit!
Click on the link above to discover what our wonderful Friends of Silver Falls have been up to this past Spring and Summer.
Our park wouldn’t be the special place we all love without their help!
About Friends of Silver Falls:
Volunteers inspired by the beauty and history of Oregon’s largest state park have been active here since the establishment of the park in 1933. In 1986, the citizens and park staff envisioned a mission and established the Friends of Silver Falls State Park, Inc. As a result, this private and public partnership has created a more meaningful park experience for the nearly one million annual visitors to the park, far beyond what state park funding alone can provide.
To further the educational and interpretive opportunities available to park visitors; to promote, preserve and enhance the historical, natural and recreational resources within the park; and to assist with park improvements and educational programs compatible with the nature of Silver Falls State Park.
Through the collaboration between the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and the Friends of Silver Falls (FOSF), the experience of park visitors and the general public will be enhanced, and the Park’s natural scenic, cultural, historic and recreational resources will be promoted and preserved.