Like North Falls further upstream, Middle North Falls has certain characteristics which one could argue give it an edge when comparing it to the park's main attraction, South Falls, despite being considerably shorter. Middle North Falls is a markedly amorphous waterfall which changes physical shape in a very dramatic way as the volume of water in North Silver Creek changes. The 106 foot tall falls take the form of a narrow column of water during the summer months, funneled to perhaps 5 feet wide at most by a narrow runnel in the bedrock. With greater stream flow in the winter and spring months however, North Silver Creek sheets out across the 60-foot wide creek bed and turns the falls into a broad curtain of water, with part of the falls impacting on a twisting chute of basalt which then slides to join the more volumnous half of the creek in the plunge pool.
Middle North Falls is one of four waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park which features a trail which traverses behind the falling water. Unlike the other three, the trail leading behind Middle North Falls is a dead-end, constructed purely to allow access to additional views of the falls. The proximity to the falling water is also substantially better - it almost feels like you can reach out and touch the falls (please don't try this, the water is too far away and there are no guardrails) and even during the lower flow periods of the summer you may get a little wet here.
- Middle North Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park were discovered and named by local photographer June Drake in the late 1880's. Middle North Falls was likely named such because the three other waterfalls below North Falls are not nearly as significant, and it made sense to name the largest waterfall in succession after North Falls in the same manor.
Silver Falls State Park straddles Highway 214 east of Salem and can be reached from either the north or south. From Salem, exit Interstate 5 onto Highway 213 eastbound and proceed 10 miles to Silverton. In Silverton turn right (south) onto Highway 214, following signs pointing to Silver Falls State Park, and drive another 15 miles to the Winter Falls trailhead. Alternatively, from I-5 in Salem drive east on Highway 22 to its junction with Highway 214, then follow Highway 214 for just under 17 miles to Winter Falls. Hike the Winter Creek trail to the bottom of Winter Falls and beyond to the junction with the Canyon Trail in a half of a mile, then bear left and hike another quarter of a mile to the top of Middle North Falls. The best views of the falls from the trail are had about 500 feet beyond the top of the falls, and the spur trail which leads behind the falls is encountered about halfway to said trailside view. Note that the spur trail leading behind the falls may be closed during the winter due to icy conditions.