The Silver Falls Scenic Byway
A stone's throw from Salem, this 55-mile route rolls through peaceful
countryside and quaint rural towns to Oregon's most popular State Park.
If the skies are clear, you'll be treated to views of five glorious Cascade
peaks: Hood, Adams, Jefferson, St. Helens, and Rainier
A. On To Sublimity
This leisurely paced route offers a pleasing detour for I-5 travelers
into the quieter environs of the Willamette Valley. To begin, exit I-5
at Delaney Road (Exit 248) just south of Salem. Head east to the town
of Turner and follow signs for the Tour Route. After crossing Oregon Route
22, you'll be in Sublimity, a town that's as peaceful as its name. From
Sublimity, turn left onto Cascade Highway and right onto Oregon Route
214, which ascends past vineyards and Christmas tree farms to Silver Falls
B. Sparkling Silver Falls
Falls State Park is the largest park in the Oregon State Park System.
Its 8,700 acres feature a campground; a conference center; and hiking,
mountain biking and horse trails. The park best known for its waterfalls
attracts over three-quarter million visitors each year. The Trail of Ten
Falls (Canyon Trail) winds past ten waterfalls in Silver Creek Canyon
and joins the Canyon Rim Trail to complete a seven mile loop. Originally
constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the trail runs behind
several of the taller falls and along the brinks of others, providing
an exhilarating excursion for hikers of all ages and abilities. If you
don't have time for a long hike, take the one-quarter mile trail to Upper
North Falls. The historic South Falls Lodge, constructed by the CCC in
1941, is also worth a visit.
C. Silverton and Mt. Angel
From the Park, Oregon Route 214 continues to Silverton, a town that displays
its old-fashioned charm with murals depicting Norman Rockwell paintings.
Gardeners will want to visit the Oregon Garden, a world-class public display
and botanical garden. Silverton's vibrant downtown offers good restaurants,
shopping and galleries. Heading north, you'll soon reach Mt. Angel, a
town whose Bavarian heritage is evident in its Benedictine Abbey and its
authentic Oktoberfest in September. The route reaches its northern terminus
in Woodburn, a culturally diverse agricultural town that shoppers know
for its abundance of fine factory store outlets and food lovers know for
its authentic Mexican restaurants. You'll also see the home of founding
father, Jesse Settlemeier. You can access I-5 here to return to Salem
or push north to Portland.