Blog Archives

Available Field Trip Dates: Spring 2018

Important Note: Our Spring 2018 field trips are completely booked. If you are still interested in a field trip, you can contact us and inquire about self-guided options.

We’ve finalized our dates of availability for spring 2018 field trips, and they are listed below. If you’d like to schedule a field trip, please contact Ranger Matt at or (503) 874-0201. When requesting a field trip, please provide the following information:

  • Your name and your school’s name
  • Age group and number of students
  • Preferred date(s) of field trip(s)
  • Time constraints – i.e. arrival and departure time to and from the park
  • Any special interests or choices of field trip programs (see field trip planning guide).


Available Field Trips

Our Spring 2017 field trip calendar is all full! If you’re still interested in bringing a field trip to Silver Falls, we may be able to provide you with self-guided activities.

Listed below are the dates available for Spring 2017 field trips at Silver Falls State Park. To schedule a field trip, call our office at (503) 874-0201 or e-mail Ranger Matt at – we look forward to hearing from you!


SOLVE Event a Success & Spring Field Trips

IMG_2156Our State Park looks great!

Last weekend over 60 volunteers enjoyed the perfect weather while collecting over 200 pounds of invasive plants and over 30 pounds of litter and recycling from the trails.  Whew – that was some well-earned cookies and coffee!

This week marked the beginning of Spring Field Trip season with a local elementary from Keizer exploring the waterfalls and temperate rainforest.  Field Trip Planning Guide

Top of South Falls 2

IMG_2152 P1060279 IMG_2146 IMG_2147 Silver Falls Boy Scouts

About Silver Falls

South Falls Picture Silver Falls State Park

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!

Friends of Silver Falls


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.

Our Mission:

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.

Our Vision:

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.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger HuntDiscover the natural wonders of the South Falls Day Use Area with this self-guided search for plants, critters, trivia, and more.

Great for school field trips, scouts, birthday parties, and friendly family competitions!

Scavenger Hunt Instructions

Scavenger Hunt

Animal Tracking

Animal TrackingFrom the track of a cat, to the scat of a bear, wildlife signs are everywhere!  Want to see for yourself?  Download this self-guided tracking activity.

Tracking Hunt Instructions

Tracking Scavenger Hunt_Any Location

Animals of Silver Falls

Nature Writing

Nature WritingWant to take your students outdoors and still complete that language arts lesson?  Make a nature journal, grab this guide, and go!

Included in this handy little booklet are twenty-four activities to help students engage in observation, description, and writing through first-hand interaction with the natural world.  The first section focuses on development of the senses and can be pulled out and used any time of the year.  These activities are appropriate for all ages.  The second section is geared more towards the writing craft and builds upon itself.  These activities are appropriate for later elementary, middle, and secondary students.

Hopefully, these activities inspire you and your students to take the classroom outside.  Enjoy your time, and don’t forget your rain jacket!

Developing Creative Language Skills Through Nature Observation_Final

Leaf Rubbing

Leaf Rubbing

Plants of all shapes and sizes keep the temperate rainforest of Silver Falls green.  Identify some of the most common ones in this self-guided leaf rubbing activity!

Although the activity books contain sketches, photos can be helpful for adults working with children.  A plant key for this activity is provided below.

Leaf Rubbings Instructions

Leaf Rubbing Activity

Key for Leaf Rubbing Books

History Hunt

History HuntLooking for a fun way to teach children about the history of Silver Falls?  Download this self-guided “History Hunt”!

History Hunt Instructions

History Hunt_South Falls Day Use

Silver Falls History_Draft