Middle North Falls

Silver Falls State Park / Salem, Oregon, USA

About Middle North Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.4 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2009-03-31
Date last visited: 2009-03-31

Waterfall Latitude: 44.88869
Waterfall Longitude: -122.64287

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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.

Silver_Falls_166_03312009 - Middle North Falls in Silver Falls State Park
Middle North Falls in Silver Falls State Park

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.

Silver_Falls_159_03312009 - The ledge going behind the Middle North Falls
The ledge going behind the Middle North Falls

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.

Middle_North_Falls_017_jx_03312009 - Looking back at the Middle North Falls from further down the Trail of Ten Falls in the direction of Drake Falls
Looking back at the Middle North Falls from further down the Trail of Ten Falls in the direction of Drake 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.

Silver_Falls_178_03312009 - Looking ahead at the Middle North Falls from near the spur detour to access its backside
Middle_North_Falls_008_jx_03312009 - Profile view of the Middle North Falls hiding the squarish shape and width
Middle_North_Falls_011_jx_03312009 - Signpost indicating Middle North Falls is 106ft
Middle_North_Falls_002_jx_03312009 - Looking back at Julie trying to stay dry as she goes behind the Middle North Falls on the narrow ledge trail
Silver_Falls_164_03312009 - Zoomed in look at the wall of water that was the Middle North Falls
Silver_Falls_168_03312009 - Frontal look at Middle North Falls from within the shelter of the alcove across from it

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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Bottom up look at the profile of the falls just before going behind it

Looking around from directly behind the waterfall

Direct look at the waterfall from beneath an alcove sheltered from the rain

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Tagged with: silver falls, state park, salem, marion, oregon, waterfall, pacific northwest, silverton, behind

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Middle North Falls March 17, 2023 7:29 pm by Philipp Merillat - Middle North Falls at Silver Falls State Park is one of those in the park where the trail proceeds behind the falls. It appears that this was made possible because the rock cliff had been carved out for the trail, while some of the other falls which you can walk behind appear to have been… ...Read More

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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