girl riding bike through woods at Silver Falls Catamount

State & Local Parks

The Willamette Valley has no shortage of natural wonders with 18 state parks, 3 state forests and 3 national wildlife refuges. Groomed trails lead through dense forests, fields and wetlands to breathtaking waterfalls (some you can actually walk behind!), with several trails taking you to the tippy tops of the Douglas fir forests at elevations exceeding 3,000 feet. Whether looking for adventure or simply a place to become one with nature, the Willamette Valley has the outdoor spaces you’re searching for.

Before you head out, though, read through our guide to hiking in the Willamette Valley—full of tips for enjoying some solitude, the skinny on passes and permits, and recommendations for staying safe.

Your Guide to Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park is considered the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system—so we’ve put together a guide to the stunning natural playground.

The guide offers a fascinating look at the park’s history, suggestions for outdoor adventure, ideas for overnight stays, and tips for having fun.

A view of South Falls at Silver Falls State Park.
South Falls at Silver Falls State Park
The sun is setting in the distance with a tree and grass in the foreground.
Sunset at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by John Shulte

Visit the Willamette Valley’s National Wildlife Refuges

The Willamette Valley is home to a trio of national wildlife refuges where you may spot springtime wildflowers, rare species of wildlife, and a wide range of scenic landscapes.

Learn more about the fascinating national wildlife refuges of the Willamette Valley.

Exploring the Waterfalls of the Willamette Valley

From the forested Oregon Coast Range to the crest of the Cascades, the Willamette Valley is awash in dozens of dazzling waterfalls.

So if you’d like to see these stunning sites for yourself, we’ve put together a guide to the waterfalls of the Willamette Valley—with tips for where to go, what makes each waterfall so special, tips for enjoying a bit of solitude, and resources for additional information.

Koosah Falls
Koosah Falls, one of the many scenic waterfalls of the Willamette Valley
A cabin with a picnic table.
River Bend County Park is home to several cabins, in addition to dozens of tent sites. Photo by Rick Obst/Flickr

Family Camping and Outdoor Adventure Around the Willamette Valley

Are you planning to pitch a tent or hit the road in your RV soon?

If so, check out our guide to family-friendly campgrounds around the Willamette Valley—complete with information on what amenities you’ll find at each, what attractions you can enjoy nearby, and details about what makes our local parks so magical.