Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
962.00 ft (293.22 m)
Trail type
8.40 mi (13.52 km)
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Silver Falls State Park may be best known for its beautiful waterfalls, but this 9,000+ acre park is home to much more. Over 35 miles of backcountry trail can be found here. These trails are open to hiking as well as mountain bike and equestrian use. In addition to exploring rugged terrain, dense forest and peaceful creeks and streams, these backcountry trails will take hikers away from the crowds that are always found near the waterfalls.

The Buck Mountain Trail is an 8-mile loop through this backcountry terrain of Silver Falls State Park. Begin by parking at the Howard Creek Trailhead. Find the side trail leading out of the parking area and head toward the horse campground. The main trail here parallels the campground road before heading further into the dense, old growth forest. You’ll soon come to a main junction for the Buck Mountain Trail. The trail is a loop so you can turn either way, but I’d recommend taking a left here and hiking clockwise.

The Buck Mountain Trail follows a wide track that was likely once a service road. A few unmarked junctions lie ahead, before a gradual climb up to a small knob. The trail levels out here, although no views are to be had. Continuing onward you’ll come to the Camp Silver Creek junction, and then eventually to a major junction with the Perimeter and Catamount Trails. Turn right here along the road to continue on the Buck Mountain Loop.

The trail then descends slightly to a valley where you’ll cross two wooden footbridges over Howard Creek. After a steep but short ascent, the trail comes to another 4-way junction. This is the high point of the trail, and offers a slight view through the dense forest.

The remainder of the trail is fairly mellow as you continue on, with the exception of the stretch just before Howard Creek (yes, you’ll cross it again) which descends fairly steeply. The trail then returns to the initial junction where you’ll take a left and head back to the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Open Year-round



Beautiful forest. Few people.


No overlooks. No waterfalls.

Trailhead Elevation

1,358.00 ft (413.92 m)

Highest point

2,245.00 ft (684.28 m)


Family friendly
Big Game Watching
Horseback riding
Bird watching
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Silver Falls State Park, South Carolina
Silver Falls State Park, Oregon


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