North Santiam State Park plays host to some of the most beautiful riverfront in the area. It is one of the finest steelhead fishing spots on the North Santiam River. North Santiam State Park is a primitive campground and day-use area with drinking fountain and restroom facilities. Picnic tables dot the grass, making North Santiam State Park a great place to stop to stretch and eat a picnic lunch. Hiking trails show the beauty of the large old-growth trees and the river.

It was a nice family outing, but most of the hike was walking a gravel road between cow pastures.

Pretty Hike. The trail starts from the parking area and begins with a mile or so of gravel. We turned left when we got to the first sign of a waterfall and went up the stairs to Shellburg falls (upper). We continued on towards the campground. When we got to the campground, we stayed left and continued on the gravel road until we found the path again. The signage is a little lacking, but we had some cell service to keep our GPS map updated. If you are looking for a great place to eat your snacks, we enjoyed the picnic table at the end of the 4 mi. loop before embarking back down the gravel road to the parking lot.

I've been on this hike many times and it takes some exploring to find the hidden gems. There is a narrow unmarked trail just past what looks like a mini Christmas tree farm. It is somewhat overgrown, but if you stay to the right at the first split and continue on you'll skip almost all the road. When you do pop back out you'll see the Santiam State forest sign right across the road. Shellburg Falls trail is just ahead and you miss nothing by taking this side trail. Stassel Falls is harder to find because it is completely unmarked. If you pass the SF trail and walk up the road it turns to the left and climbs the hill. Don't go left, keep walking straight ahead and you will find the trail to Stassel. It's a little dangerous (long way to the bottom) when you get close to the falls be cautious with your kids and pets.

Pretty easy trail & our 1st of the summer season. There are gradual inclines in most areas or steps when steep. On a lovely early summer July afternoon, we probably only saw 10-12 small groups of hikers, some with kids/dogs, which is awesome compared to Silver creek falls. Didn’t make it to Stassel, folks were trying to find it & it was proving a little difficult for them.

Beautiful hike! We did about 7 miles. I loved that you get to walk behind the fall!

The trail was amazing! It was a little over 5 miles. A group of 5, including two children and 2 dogs. The hike was around 2 hours long, there and back. We took pictures and videos. Super easy and not strenuous at all. We started the hike at around 0800, with only 3 cars parked. Once we were done, the whole parking lot was full and the street had around 8-10 cars. I recommend going early to avoid groups of people. I could only find one waterfall, Shellburg. I could not find Stassel falls. Overall, it was an awesome hiking trip!

hiking
10 days ago

Nice easy hike. Took our 4 children, ages 5-15. None of the kids had problems. Starts off on a gravel road through farm land. lots of cows. The waterfall is amazing. We never did find the other waterfall, there are no signs marking the way. The rest of the trail is marked and easy to follow.

Fairly easy and accessible hike. The falls are a good start to the hike but the rest of the trail loop is just beautiful wilderness single track with occasional two track roads and campgrounds. It is a wonderful area just minutes from Salem. Can be as long or as short as you like, depending on time and personal fitness level. The map on AllTrails is actually accurate and there's just enough signage on the trail to stay on course. What a gem so close to Salem!

Such a beautiful hike away from the main roads. Most of the hike is uphill, but doable for everyone including dogs. The rocks were a bit slippery around the falls, so be careful. You are constantly surrounded by farmlands and heavy wooded areas. Only saw a few other people while hiking. Signs lead you to the Shellburg falls, but not to Stassel. We only went to the Shellburg falls which is only about 4 miles round trip. Well worth it!

Super fun and easy trail the falls are so beautiful just makes you want to sit there all day and stare. Perfect for kids and dogs!

One of my favorites because it’s close to Salem and is also good for kids and dogs! Not as crowded as other places so it’s very peaceful!

Beautiful views of the waterfalls. Loved that part. But it was very confusing. There isn’t ONE trail. There are a couple small trails that go off from a gravel road. I think the gravel road may be “part” of the hike, but it’s not really marked. So the actually HIKE was pretty short. Also, trails were not marked well. In fact, the trail to see Stassle Falls wasn’t marked at all.
So, BEAUTIFUL falls! But poorly marked trails, most of which consists of a gravel road.

Loved it! Great hike and not many people out on Wednesday morning. Walking behind the falls was amazing. Brought my Siberian and she loved it. Will do it again.

Nice loop hike, falls were great and nice little campground too. Parking at the trail head was full, but only seen about 6 people on the trail.

It was a perfect day and nice trails.

A little disjointed of a trail but great water falls. Strassel is not well marked but so worth the side jaunt!!

Nice quick trail within 30 minutes of Salem. Really is three falls- two you can see from above and the main falls you walk behind and to the pool then continue beyond. My clock said 4.8 miles.

Start at the trailhead and follow the gravel road. After about a mile you come to a small overlook where you can peer at the lower falls from above. There is a staircase and sign leading to the upper falls(about 1/2 mile up the path.) You can take this path to the falls or continue up the road and approach the falls from above.

If you go to the falls first-time Walk behind the falls to the top (this part gets a tiny bit strenuous but is short) and continue up the path. This dumps you back onto the road just below a small camp ground. Turn right on the road away from the campground (downhill) and follow the road back to the parking area. You can also pick up the wooded trail back which crosses the road a couple of times and head back through the woods. This section is marked August Mountain Trail.

To get to the hidden falls- on your way down from the campground follow the road. You will see where the wooded trail crosses the road. Go past this point down the road. On your left will be a small dirt path marked by felled trees. A short walk takes you to the top of the falls, you can clearly hear the water from the path. Return to the road and continue back to the parking area.

Clearly a cousin to the falls of Silver Falls with the advantage of stairs down to the pool beneath the falls. The walk through the pastures was lovely!

We had a great time hiking to the falls today. Weather was perfect, parking full but trails light on people until on our way down in the early afternoon. Fun to see so many dogs and their escorts. Only muddy near the water. Falls were full and fabulous!

To find Stassel falls you can follow Shellburg Road (gravel road) past Lower Shellburg Falls and the trailhead for the Upper Falls. In 4-5 min on your left you will see a trail marker for August Mtn Trail. A short, though muddy, unmarked trail is found soon after on your right toward Stassel Falls.

most of the way is on a fire trail very easy steady climb but the last part of the trail to the upper shellberg falls is short but uneven because of roots and rocks. trail to lower falls is fairly smooth.

Was a fun little hike, some snow on the trail still but made for a pretty day!

All up hill but it's an excellent hike! You can walk behind the fall and keep going up to the top!! Great little hike!

Beautiful falls and good hike. But it is not an easy hike, as the ratings say. I would say moderate to strenuous.

Absolutely beautiful!!!!!

Easy hike, even with the loop it's a little less than 5 miles. I took my almost 5-year-old twins and they did the hike without breaking a sweat. I would definitely recommend doing the loop. I try to go a few times a month as it is a decent little workout if you walk fast.

trail running
5 months ago

Fun place for trail running

Lovely day for a hike. There were a lot of cars at the trailhead, but did not see too many of the occupants on the trails. Would love to have a better map tho. Will try the Santiam National Forest office to see if they have one. The trails that intersect and wander off led us to a stretch of "private property" per a hiker who rents from the owner told us as she, her companion and dogs were coming from the opposite direction. Definitely want to explore some more.

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