A Travel Option During Hard Economic Times
By Scott Gese

If your retirement plans include travel, you may be feeling a bit of a financial strain these days. It's time to focus on an alternative travel option or two. You do have some good ones if you think about it.

silver falls south fallsSilver Falls, Oregon

The U.S. Economy is going through a rocky period right now. Gas prices are skyrocketing and inflation is rearing its ugly head. Now might be a good time to slow down on your travel experiences. You don’t have to give up the idea of travel altogether. I’m suggesting you think about staying a little closer to home until things turn around.

Many of us, myself included tend to look beyond our home turf for future travel ideas. It’s easy to do when the economy isn’t pressuring you to pull back on your spending. Now that the pressure is on, this would be a great time to take a look at options closer to home. I did this and was surprised at what I found.

Diamonds in my own backyard. Here’s what I discovered.

With the price of gas on the rise and no end in sight, my wife and I decided to take a closer look at what travel destinations we could find closer to our home here in Oregon.

We found several good options. The one we chose was only sixty miles from our front door. It’s one of Oregon’s top state parks. We had been there years ago on a day trip but never bothered to check out the camping area. Since then we had forgotten all about it. Our closer online look at this parks website reminded us of our past day trip.

The park is called Silver Falls State Park. With over 9000 acres it’s the largest park in Oregon.

We decided to book a couple of nights in one of the spaces at the campgrounds. The campground accommodates tents, travel trailers, fifth wheels and RV’S. (water and electric hook-ups in every RV space)

If you don’t like any of those options you can also book a log cabin. All these options make Silver Falls a popular park for camping. If you want to book a space you’ll need to do it well in advance. Our reservation was a month out.

Silver Falls Oregon tent campingCamping among the tall timber. Tents, trailers and RV’S are all accommodated. Image by Scott Gese

How active are you?

Do you like to hike, ride bikes or horseback ride in the woods? Are you interested in waterfalls, old growth timber and wilderness trails? Do you want to enjoy the park for the day or camp out in a safe and secure environment? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, this may be the travel option for you.

There is so much to do at Silver Falls you could easily spend a week at the park. You might actually run out of energy before you run out of options.

So what can you do here? I’m glad you asked.

I’ve already mentioned camping. There are more than a hundred campsites and cabins with plenty of space between you and your neighbor. You won’t feel like your personal space is being infringed upon here.

There is a separate horse camp with miles of trails for horseback riding.

If you like to trail ride, there are miles of bicycle trails for off road riding.

If hiking is your thing you won’t be disappointed. There are miles of well groomed trails for hiking and several hiking loops to choose from. They vary in length and difficulty. Some are even paved for those who want to enjoy the parks natural beauty without having to watch your footing. Rocks and roots are underfoot on the unpaved trails. All of the trails will take you through tall timber of both old growth and second growth fir trees.

Most of the trails will lead you to at least one waterfall, sometimes more. The park has a total of eleven waterfalls you can hike to. Four of them have trails that take you behind the falls.

Our time here wasn’t long enough to do all we wanted. We’ve decided we want to see all the falls and hike more of the trails. We enjoyed what we were able to do and plan to come back to Silver Falls soon.

In the meantime we’ll be on the lookout for more close to home gems like this one. I'll bet if you searched close to where you live you'd come up with a gem or two as well.

Want to learn more about Silver Falls state Park? Here's a link.


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