About Middle North Falls
Middle North Falls took us by surprise as it dazzled us with its impressive 106ft plunge spread out over a width that made it appear to us like it was almost square in shape.
After having seen smaller waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park like Winter Falls and Twin Falls, we had expected to see more dinky waterfalls in between the central part of the Trail of Ten Falls (between Lower South Falls and North Falls.
Thus, it was pretty obvious that the Middle North Falls well exceeded our lowered expectations.
In fact, the surprises didn’t end with just the size of this waterfall.
Indeed, when we got close to the Middle North Falls, we came to realize that the trail allowed us to go behind it.
The trail even continued to go beyond the backside of the falls into a large alcove area opposite the creek responsible for a satisfying direct look.
Going behind waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park seemed to be a pretty consistent theme among the waterfalls here, because this was the fourth waterfall in the reserve that allowed us to do it.
The alcove turned out to be a fortuitous instance of geology because during our early Spring visit in late March 2009, it was raining pretty heavily on-and-off.
When the rains came in earnest, the alcove sheltered us from the heavy precipitation at the time.
Therefore, it allowed us to appreciate the Middle North Falls without getting wet while taking plenty of long exposure photos on a tripod without waterspots getting on the lens.
Hiking to Middle North Falls
From the car park near Winter Falls, we walked roughly 0.7 miles (1.4 miles round trip) to the Middle North Falls.
At the fork beyond the bridge (about 0.3 miles or so from the trailhead), we made a left (as going right at the fork would have led to Twin Falls).
Then, when we noticed the sounds of loud and crashing water to our left, we gladly followed the spur trail that ultimately led us closer to the source of the noise.
Back on the main trail (as we headed towards Drake Falls), we were able to get yet another view of the Middle North Falls by looking back at it with the creek meandering in front.
This context helped us further reinforce in our minds the sheer volume and size of this waterfall.
Middle North Falls resides in Silver Falls State Park near Salem in Marion County, Oregon. It is administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
The start of the approach that we took to get to this falls is right at the Winter Falls car park and trailhead.
See the Winter Falls page for specific driving directions.
As for the geographical context, Portland was 42 miles (an hour drive) north of Silverton and 47 miles (also an hour drive) north of Salem.
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