1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Open!

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mileagemike25000
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1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Open!

Post by mileagemike25000 » January 7th, 2013, 8:27 pm

We took the opportunity to head out to Silver Falls State Park to check out the status of the Perimeter Trail. It seems that this trail has been closed, between the Rackett-Ridge and the Buck Mountain Loop Trails, for at least one year, due to storm damage. The parking lot is at the North Falls TH, located here:

and the TH sign stands out boldly. :)
1 North Falls TH_DxO_(1).jpg
We started out hiking over the bridge and making a an immediate right, at the fork, that leads under the road and toward the Upper North Falls. We hit another trail fork and took a right onto the Perimeter Trail.
2 Right to head up Perimeter Trail_DxO_(1).jpg
There are plenty of wood boardwalks,
3 Plenty of Walkways_DxO_(1).jpg
and several wood bridges that cross small streams!
4 Plenty of bridges over streams_DxO_(1).jpg
The trail switchbacks up a gentle slope and then finally reaches a wider section that must have been an abandoned road. This wide section of the trail is fairly level and soon reaches a fire road just before turning sharply to the left. We continued, in a SE direction, along another fairly level portion of the trail. As I looked around there was a towel tied to a tree branch. :? Is this a new type of trail marker. :lol:
5 T-shirt on a tree!_DxO_(1).jpg
As we walked along the trail gently ascended up toward the Rackett-Ridge Trail intersection. And then we finally arrived at this large intersection, that also contained a nice map of the Silver Falls Trail System (not shown).
6 Intersection of Perimeter & Rackett-Ridge Trail_DxO_(1).jpg
Twice before we had reached this intersection, and both times there was a large sign (and ribbon across the trail) indicating the Perimeter Trail was closed. Not this time! :D
7 Perimeter trail now open - Yea!_DxO_(1).jpg
The Perimeter Trail, past the Rackett-Ridge Trail, descends gently and continues in a SE direction. We soon reached the area of the trail that was obstructed by a huge number of downed trees from storm damage. Sorry to let the cat out of the bag but we had scoped this out on a previous unpublished hike. :roll: An excellent job had been done in clearing the damage we had seen (but not gone past) here previously! It was here that we started seeing snow on and off the trail, that was easily passable.
8 Storm damage cleared up! - Some snow!_DxO_(1).jpg
Continuing our descent the trail levelled off in what felt like wet muddy lowlands. We saw this very nice stream.
9 Nice stream on trail_DxO_(1).jpg
And we soon stopped, at a log across the trail, due to our designated turn around time.
10 Stopped at log across trail - late_DxO_(1).jpg
On the way back we stopped to admire the amazing amount of moss on the vine maple branches! :)
11 Plenty of moss!_DxO_(1).jpg
The mood was definitely changing as the mist rolled in under the canopy.
12 Nice mood on the way back!_DxO_(1).jpg
After completing the Perimeter Trail we decided to visit the Upper North Falls. It was definitely worth the effort! :D
13 Upper North Falls_(1).JPG
Turning around, to walk back to the car, my wife liked this view as we looked down the trail!
14 Trail back from falls_DxO_(1).jpg
The beauty of this hike was that there were NO hikers/bikers on the Perimeter Trail, and the weather and scenery were fantastic. :D The hike was 8.7 miles with an elevation gain of about 1250ft.
Silver Falls Perimeter Trail.JPG

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Crusak
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by Crusak » January 7th, 2013, 9:19 pm

Looks like a pretty fun day. How long is the perimeter trail if you do the whole loop?
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Joseph Elfelt
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by Joseph Elfelt » January 8th, 2013, 5:32 am

Nice map! :D

Here is another suggestion. When you are referring to a single spot like a TH, you can use the "symbol" parameter to put a single symbol on the map to mark that spot.

The symbol will appear at the center of the map as specified by the ll parameter. For example, "&symbol=prs" will add a small red paddle to the map. Like so:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... symbol=prs

To see the list of allowable symbols, search the Gmap4 Help file on "prs".
Help file: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf

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kepPNW
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by kepPNW » January 8th, 2013, 6:35 am

Crusak wrote:Looks like a pretty fun day. How long is the perimeter trail if you do the whole loop?
Exactly what I was wondering, as I read that. It's been ages since I've been to Silver Falls. Probably time to do it again.

I did find their trail map, but it doesn't do much for distance.
Karl
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hike4fun
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by hike4fun » January 8th, 2013, 10:53 am

Thank you so much for this TR! I just read about this trail in a hiking book my sister gave me for Christmas. I think its time to check it out in person! Great pics. Thanks again for sharing. :)
Rachelle

"What's with all these drinkers with hiking problems?"

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mileagemike25000
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by mileagemike25000 » January 8th, 2013, 6:27 pm

Jim - It was a really great hike for us. :) The Perimeter Trail is about 6 miles long, as you can see from the map below. I think this map also addresses Karl's question about trail lengths. It seems the online maps don't have the distances, but the ones posted at the State Park have plenty of mileage data! You can also see that there are a number of very interesting, and long, loops you can do in the park. :D
Silver Falls State Park Map.jpg
* You should be able to zoom into the map enough to get all the mileage data.

Joseph - I really appreciate the tips you've been giving for enhancing the gmap4 experience! I had been placing the crosshair on the location of the TH, but I like the symbol option you suggested. I'll add this feature to my next TR. :) I'm also going to take a closer look at the gmap4 features to give the reader a better experience, but please feel free to keep those tips coming!

Rachelle - I'm very happy that you enjoyed the TR and appreciate the compliments. :) The trail in this TR is within the Silver Falls Backcountry. I think the Backcountry is very underrated, which is why there are so few hikers and bikers on the trails. It's true that it doesn't hold the visual eyecandy of the waterfalls loop, but it's a beautiful forest with a spattering of Old Growth and plenty of small streams! :) The best part, for my wife and I, is you have a high probability of plenty of solitude and it's accessible all year. :D The only warning I would have is that there are regions where the mud, during the wet season, can be significant.
Last edited by mileagemike25000 on January 8th, 2013, 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kepPNW
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by kepPNW » January 8th, 2013, 6:45 pm

mileagemike25000 wrote:The Perimeter Trail is about 6 miles long, as you car see from the map below. I think this map also addresses Karl's question about trail lengths. It seems the online maps don't have the distances, but the ones posted at the State Park have plenty of mileage data!
Amazing! I downloaded the park trail map brochure, and it said (emphasis mine):
  • The “Trail of Ten Falls” is a designated National Recreation Trail. This trail includes the Canyon Trail, Rim Trail, Winter Trail and Maple Ridge Trail for a total of 8.7 miles. These trails offer spectacular views of 10 beautiful waterfalls.
So it was a natural assumption the Perimeter trail was much longer than that. Methinks their number for the Ten Falls loop is off significantly?

EDIT: Hmmm, the more I look at your photo, and the park map, the more I'm thinking that to do a loop around the entire perimeter (as opposed, perhaps, to the Perimeter Trail proper), it's going to be significantly over 10 miles, probably closer to 15?
Karl
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Crusak
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by Crusak » January 8th, 2013, 7:19 pm

^^^
I was thinking that a long loop hike in Silver Falls SP would be a lot of fun in winter. (yes, Crusak hasn't been to Silver Falls, ever. But he wants to check it out)

It looks like I could probably get a double-digit mileage hike down there. Looks promising! :) We need Eric Peterson to hike all of those trails and add them to his mapset. ;)
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mileagemike25000
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by mileagemike25000 » January 8th, 2013, 7:41 pm

Karl - I think that you're correct around the entire perimeter being in the 15 mile range? I can calculate it for all but a small piece of the Perimeter Trail I haven't completed. However, the Ten Falls Loop is about 9.1 miles, which isn't too far off from the 8.7 miles you mentioned. Here's the track.
Ten Falls Loop - 9.1 miles.JPG

Jim - You've got to get over to Silver Falls! It's a great low altitude winter hike, and you MUST see the waterfall section as they're awesome. :) A double-digit hike distance would be easy, but I recommend planning where you want to go before hand. By the way, here's most of the Silver Falls Trail System I've Hiked minus a small part of the Perimeter Trail (on the SE side of the park).
Silver Falls Trails Hiked.JPG

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CampinCarl
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Re: 1/5/13 Silver Falls Perimeter Trail - Now Completely Ope

Post by CampinCarl » January 8th, 2013, 9:58 pm

Mike, thanks for the update, this is a nice slice of the park. I think it would be cool if OPRD would put in a backcountry site somewhere up there :!:

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