Escape the Crowds With These 5 Underrated Spots in Silverton, Oregon

Long exposure of a waterfall at Silver Falls State Park
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Silverton, Oregon, is a popular destination with its historic mining town charm and proximity to the majestic Mount Hood National Forest.

While it’s a popular destination for many, several hidden gems are still unknown to the crowds. If you’re seeking a serene getaway away from the hustle and bustle, Silverton has got you covered.

Here are five underrated spots in Silverton that promise an unforgettable escape:

1. Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park, aka the ‘crown jewel’ of the Oregon State Parks system, is renowned for its stunning waterfalls, especially the iconic South Falls. 

According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Silver Falls State Park attracts over 1.3 million visitors annually. In 2022, the 9,000-acre park saw over 1.3 million day-use visitors. However, many of these visitors only explore the main trails. Venturing off to lesser-known paths can give you a more peaceful and intimate experience with nature.

Hike the Winter Falls Trail, a moderate 3.6-mile loop that takes you past various cascades, including the breathtaking Winter Falls. Or, try the Canyon Trail, a challenging 7.8-mile loop that winds through lush forests and along the canyon rim, offering spectacular views of the park’s natural beauty. 

The best part? These trails are far less crowded, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility.

2. Silver Creek Falls

While Silver Falls may steal the spotlight, Silver Creek Falls is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. 

Nestled within its state park, this majestic waterfall boasts a dramatic 177-foot drop and multiple cascades, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Countless hiking trails wind through the park, offering stunning views of the falls and the surrounding lush forests. Don’t miss the Trail of Ten Falls, a moderately challenging 7.2-mile loop that takes you past – you guessed it – ten beautiful waterfalls! 

After exploring, you can relax at the Silver Creek Falls State Park campground. For a quieter backdrop, visit Silver Spur RV Park near Salem, Oregon. This peaceful retreat offers full hookups, free Wi-Fi, a seasonal swimming pool, a hot tub, a stocked fishing pond, and a fitness center. 

Plus, it’s conveniently located near Silverton’s charming downtown, making it the perfect base camp for your Silverton adventures.

3. Historic Silverton

Silverton’s Main Street is lined with charming shops and historic buildings, but don’t limit yourself to this tourist hub.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes the city as one of the most well-preserved historic towns in Oregon. Moreover, in 2005, Silverton was also designated as a Preserve America Community. The town’s commitment to preserving its mining heritage is evident in the restored buildings and the display of artifacts.

Explore the side streets and alleys to uncover hidden treasures. You’ll find unique boutiques, antique stores, and art galleries in unexpected corners. Delve into the town’s rich mining history at the Silverton County Historical Society Museum. To taste the local flavor, skip the chain restaurants and dine at one of Silverton’s many off-the-beaten-path cafés or pubs.

4. The Oregon Garden

The Oregon Garden is a sprawling 80-acre paradise that showcases the state’s diverse flora. 

Wander through themed gardens, admire tranquil water features, and discover hidden corners like the Conifer or the Medicinal Garden. The garden hosts seasonal events like flower festivals and holiday light displays, adding to its allure. 

If you’re seeking a peaceful escape, the Oregon Garden is the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with nature.

5. Mount Angel Abbey

Perched atop a hill with breathtaking views of the Willamette Valley, Mount Angel Abbey offers a serene escape from the everyday. 

The church was founded in 1882 by Swiss monks and was designed by the renowned Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto. This Benedictine monastery boasts stunning architecture, including a beautiful church and a library filled with rare books. The library is part of the OCLC, Inc. (Online Computer Library Center), a country library network with thousands of members and millions of books in its online catalog. 

Stroll through the peaceful gardens, visit the gift shop for local products and religious items, or simply soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Frequently Asked Questions

Silver Falls State Park
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Q1. What’s the Best Time to Visit Silverton to Avoid the Biggest Crowds?

Spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) are ideal. Enjoy pleasant, mild weather, fewer tourists, and stunning natural beauty as the leaves change color or wildflowers bloom.

Q2. Does Silverton Host Any Events?

Silverton hosts various events throughout the year, including the Wildflower Festival at Silver Falls State Park, the Oregon Garden’s flower festivals, and the town’s annual Harvest Festival.

Q3. Can I Combine a Visit to Silverton With Other Nearby Attractions?

Yes, Silverton is a short drive from the charming town of Mount Angel, known for its Oktoberfest celebrations. You can also explore the nearby Willamette Valley wine country or head to Mount Hood for outdoor adventures.

In conclusion, Silverton, Oregon, is more than just its popular attractions. 

By venturing off the beaten path, you can discover hidden gems that offer unique experiences and a chance to escape the crowds. Whether exploring hidden waterfalls, delving into history, immersing yourself in nature, or seeking a spiritual retreat, Silverton has something special for you. 

Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to uncover the hidden treasures of this charming town. Your adventure awaits.

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