Salem outdoor adventuresOutdoor Fun for Everyone!

First published 8 March 2022

Oregon is well-known for its outdoor adventures, and the Salem region is home to some of the most pristine natural wonders in the state. Whether you want to hike, bike, paddle or just want a little room to roam, here are some ideas to inspire your next outdoor experience:

Splish, Splash

Warm summer days are perfect for paddling, boating or swimming in the Salem region’s many accessible rivers and lakes.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, test your whitewater skills on a guided kayak or raft tour with eNRG Kayaking on the North Fork of the Santiam River, just east of Salem.

For a more leisurely water adventure, head to Detroit Lake for fishing, boating, tubing, along with beautiful mountain views. Also near Detroit, the Mongold Day Use area includes a swimming area, grass beach and boat ramp.

Near Silverton, you can enjoy leisurely paddles around the Silverton Reservoir, a 65-acre lake that does not allow gas motors. The area boasts towering old growth forests and is ideal for summer picnicking, fishing and water activities.

In Salem, Salem Kayak Rentals rents out kayaks and paddleboards and offers a variety of guided trips on the Willamette River.

Silver Falls State Park

Embark on one of the most enchanting hikes in Oregon at Silver Falls State Park, a lush, temperate rainforest east of Salem. Wind along the mossy and fern-draped Trail of Ten Falls, a famous 7.6-mile trek that passes 10 magnificent waterfalls from the shimmering 177-foot South Falls to the elegant Winter Falls.


20024 Silver Falls Hwy. SE
Silverton, OR 97381

Pedal Power

The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway—Oregon’s first designated scenic bikeway—begins at Champoeg State Heritage Area and winds through the Salem region, taking cyclists through verdant vineyards and lush farmland, with plenty of opportunities to stop at bike-friendly wineries, brewpubs and parks along the way.

Or, choose one of the Mid-Willamette Valley’s many other road cycling routes, which range from easy to challenging and encourage riders to explore historic covered bridges, ferries, charming downtown areas and more.

Mountain biking enthusiasts will not want to miss the wooden skinnies, ladders and jumps found at Blackrock Mountain Biking Area near Falls City.

Want to take your bike along? Amtrak Cascades provides bike transport as well...

On Your Feet

Did you know that Salem is home to a connected park system with a combined acreage that’s larger than Central Park in New York City?

The Peter Courtney Minto Island Pedestrian Bridge links Minto-Brown Island Park to Salem’s Riverfront Park - which is linked to Wallace Marine Park via the Union Street Pedestrian Bridge – making it possible to explore more than 30 miles of trails within the Salem city limits.

Oregon is known for its waterfall hikes and the Salem region offers a number of them. Head to Silver Falls State Park, where you can see ten different waterfalls on this 7.5-mile loop hike.