Hiking is by far the best way to take in the autumnal splendor here. Opened in 1933, Silver Falls is Oregon's largest state park, with more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails carved across its 9,200 acres. The most famous hike follows the 8.5-mile Trail of Ten Falls, a loop that starts in the South Falls area. The route, a network of five separate trails, comes exactly as billed. It provides close-ups of 10 gorgeous waterfalls, including Twin Falls, Drake Falls, North Middle Falls, and 177-foot-tall South Falls, where strapping big-leaf maples pose before a silvery horsetail cascade.
Hiking to all 10 is too much for our 8-year-old, so we opt instead for the one-mile-long Maple Ridge Trail. From there, thanks to the crisscrossing trail network, we can create a loop from two to 10 miles long. We settle on a shortish option that still hits many of the falls.