The original mountain bike trail in Silver Falls State Park, these days the Catamount Trail
sees more action. The Perimeter Trail was built as a pedestrian trail first, and it shows. That doesn't mean it isn't worth the ride; it's just a bit more old-school than its newer cousin.
Don't expect kickers and banked corners. Do expect hard packed dirt, tight switchbacks, and a fast descent when heading back to the trailhead. Unless it's raining, then expect a mud bath. This is Western Oregon, after all.
Make sure to buy a parking pass for $5/day or $30/year. This trail is closed to horses. If you run into any, just give them a friendly reminder. The trail is open to hikers and runners; keep your head up.
Start at the North Falls trailhead in Silver Falls State Park. From the trailhead, cross the North Fork of Silver Creek via footbridge. Take a right after the footbridge and go through the tunnel. You'll see the signs for the Perimeter Trail. Head into the woods of Douglas-fir, hemlock, western swordsfern, and maple.
After climbing about 350', the trail levels off and starts contouring towards the southeast. It briefly merges with an old fire road before heading off to the left. You'll enter a stretch of old growth forest shortly after.
After crossing three small creeks, the trail heads up and makes five quick switchbacks before leveling out again. At 2,300', this is the trail's high point. It begins a more controlled descent down to another branch of Silver Creek, crosses it, and continues descending, sometimes steeply, until bottoming out at the South Fork of Silver Creek.
After crossing the South Fork at 1,740', the trail climbs up several more switchbacks. It finally levels out at 2,100' where it meets up with the Buck Mountain Loop
horse trail. Turn around here and enjoy the vertical you just gained.