Champoeg State Park Things to Do

  • swallow in Champoeg nest box examines the tourists
    swallow in Champoeg nest box examines...
    by glabah
  • scenes of the early Oregon settlement from museum
    scenes of the early Oregon settlement...
    by glabah
  • Frisbee golf players on the course near campground
    Frisbee golf players on the course near...
    by glabah

Most Recent Things to Do in Champoeg State Park

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Pioneer Mother's Museum

    by glabah Updated Dec 1, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Update: For various reasons the decision has been made to relocate this entire structure from its current location. Among other problems the bank beside the river is suffering heavy erosion due to the amount of boat wake now using this part of the river. Therefore, on 11 November 2013 the museum closed and will eventually reopen in a new location.

    This museum is mostly visited by school groups from the area, learning about Oregon history. It is small, but the idea is to explain the early life of settlers.

    The museum of the Oregon Territory and Fort Vancouver are much larger and well equipped museums for learning about early Oregon History, but if you are in the area anyway this isn't a bad place to visit as well. There are a number of interesting jems in their collection, the most interesting of which is probably a collapsible Hudson's Bay heating stove. It is a real article of the pioneer days as it came to Oregon in 1838 for use at a Catholic mission at St. Paul, Oregon. Other items at the museum give a good sense of the difficulties encountered by the early pioneers at Champoeg.

    The museum is closed during most of the winter months.

    This museum is operated by the Oregon State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which also operates the nearby Newell House Museum. The web site below is a link to the web page on the Newell House Museum web site that gives information about the Pioneer Mother's Museum.

    For the official web site of the state park, see my tip about various Champoeg web sites.

    Pioneer mother's Museum: small cabin museum
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Various Champoeg State Park Web Sites

    by glabah Updated Jul 8, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Champoeg State Park has a number of web sites about it, including:

    Oregon State Parks, Park # 113: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_113.php
    A considerable amount of information is available on a brochure about Champoeg published by the Oregon State Parks. You may find this on the state parks web site, as from time to time it has appeared there, but the exact URL changes from time to time. Therefore, I can't give you a good link for it.

    Friends of Historic Champoeg: http://www.champoeg.org/
    This web site includes a park guide: http://www.champoeg.org/park.htm

    Wikipedia Entry on Champoeg is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champoeg. As with most Wikipedia entries, you have to take what you read with a grain of salt and be prepared for statements in there to be not quite correct.

    The Pioneer Mother's Museum (located in a forested area near the edge of the river and near the Oregon Statehood monument, but not close enough to the river to see the river very well) is operated by the Oregon State Daughters of the American Revolution, and features it on the web site of the Newell House Museum nearby. The Pioneer Mother's Museum section of their web site is small, but gives a little history of the location.

    Where does this trail go? Champoeg Information Ctr brown creeper bird on side of tree, Champoeg park robin sings from top of Champoeg disk golf swallow in Champoeg nest box examines the tourists tangled tree in forest along Willamette River
    Related to:
    • Cycling
    • Camping
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Champoeg Township Trail

    by glabah Updated Jun 26, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bikes are not allowed on this trail due to its fagile nature. It is a comfortable (as opposed to the hard surface of the bike trail) bark dust trail that runs along the Willamette River from the entrance to the camping area (where it joins the Champoeg - Butteville Trail ) to the large picnic area near the pioneer mother's museum, and passes through a forested area along the river.

    Restrooms are located near the floating fishing platform, about 1/4 mile west of the large day use picnic area.

    The trail runs through an area where the open grasslands meet the forest near the river, with views of the river, as well as views of the open flatlands that are also a significant part of the park. These open areas are a popular destination for certain area wildlife. This combination of ecosystems create an environment for a variety of bird life during the right time of year.

    Little remains of the old Champoeg town site, thanks to somewhat flimsy construction of the pioneer structures and the encounter these structures had with the great flood of 1861. Wooden posts mark the old street intersections, and there is a map in the park museum that gives an idea as to what the community once looked like.

    Champoeg Township Trail: in forest along river Champoeg Township Trail: view of river from trail Champoeg Township Trail: open space along trail map at Champoeg museum illustrates old town site posts mark old street intersections in old town
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Frisbee Golf ( Disc Golf) course

    by glabah Updated Jun 26, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Champoeg State Park, among its various other recreational facilities, has a disc golf course. The course is reasonably challenging as much of it goes through the "Oak Grove" area of the park. There are marked "tee off" areas with rubber matts and established "hole" areas that serve as a goal for the "golfer".

    There are some fairly serious frisbee golf players that visit this park! You will find some people using roller carts filled with various frisbees that they use for various situations - much like an actual golfer needs various clubs.

    For the official web site of the state park, see my tip about various Champoeg web sites.

    Frisbee golf course: an interesting challenge here Disc golf course: the Frisbee golf players on the course near campground Champoeg Frisbee Golf Course: one of many Champoeg Frisbee Golf:
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Blue Heron Picnic Area

    by glabah Updated Jun 26, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As one of the few areas in the park that actually has access to the river, I feel that the Blue Heron Picnic Area is worthy of mention in its own right.

    There are dozens of picnic tables (though in the off-season, they are locked up) and a few scattered trees that are quite small. Most of the area is wide open grass.

    There is a fishing and boating dock where you can tie up your boat if you come by water, and this is one of the few places where you can actually go all the way down to the water in Champoeg State Park.

    As it is a boat dock, there is no fence around it, so you will want to watch your young children to make sure they don't fall in. The current here can at times be fairly swift.

    Toilet facilities are fairly standard "vault" toilets (a hole in the ground lined with concrete).

    As well as driving to the parking area for the picnic area, the Champoeg Township Trail goes through the center of the picnic area.

    For the official web site of the state park, see my tip about various Champoeg web sites.

    Blue Heron Picnic Area: open grassland with trees ramp down to Blue Heron Picnic Area boat dock Blue Heron Picnic Area boat dock, Willamette River Blue Heron picnic area: parking and vault toilets
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Champoeg-Butteville Trail

    by glabah Updated Jun 26, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This asphalt trail runs between the large day-use picnic areas and museum area, through the "Oak Grove" area and camping area of the park, all the way to the edge of the park at Schuler Road (which is actually more of a very narrow paved driveway, no larger than the trail). The trail then runs along the shoulder of Butteville road for a brief period before ending at the Butteville Store.

    Along the way, the trail passes through areas of the park that remain wild areas, and through the trees it is possible to see the Willamette River in places.

    Keep your eyes open: there is wildlife here, but most people don't notice it. During a brief trip here in February 2008 I saw coyote, deer, and a number of smaller animals and birds.

    To get to the trail from the park campground all you have to do is go to the bridge over Champoeg Creek. The trail runs beside the road on the bridge.

    The trail crosses the entrance to the Oak Grove and Blue Heron picnic and day use areas. Walk toward the way you came in and you will find it.

    The start of the trail in the park is at the Pioneer Mother's Museum. After entering the park and going down the hill, turn left after the pay booth and then right at the next paved driveway. The entry for the trail from the parking lot is just as you make a sharp curve from the paved driveway to the paved parking lot.

    For the official web site of the state park, see my tip about various Champoeg web sites.

    Champoeg-Butteville Trail: through open fields Champoeg-Butteville Trail: Willamette River forest Champoeg-Butteville Trail: through river brush Champoeg-Butteville Trail: creek bridge in forest Champoeg-Butteville Trail: Willamette River forest
    Related to:
    • Cycling
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Monument to the signing of Oregon Statehood

    by glabah Updated Jun 26, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the reasons for the formation of Champoeg State Park is the historical significance of the location: it was where an agreement was first signed that started Oregon on the road to becoming a state of the USA. This was not a particularly easy decision to make at the time, as it was felt there were quite a number of different options.

    The story of the monument is also interesting: in the early 1900s, when it was first decided that the location should be preserved for history, it was found that there was only one living man that remembered the location, more or less, where the document was signed. After considerable searching beside the river, this is the location chosen.

    It should be pointed out that most of the area along the river was severely altered during the great flood of the 1860s, and thus the location may not be too accurate.

    The monument has a covered picnic area next to it, plus park benches and of course the monument itself. It is set away from the parking areas among the forest, and is a reasonably quiet place to sit and have lunch or imagine what might have happened if Oregon statehood had never happened.

    For the official web site of the state park, see my tip about various Champoeg web sites.

    Monument to Oregon Statehood: among the trees Monument to Oregon Statehood: covered picnic area Monument to Oregon Statehood:park benches in woods covered picnic area at Oregon Statehood Monument Oregon Grape in bloom at Oregon Statehood Monument
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Museum Displays in Main Visitor's Center

    by glabah Updated Jun 26, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The great flood of 1861, as well as the relatively flimsy construction (remember lumber mills simply didn't exist in Oregon until a few years after Champoeg's settlement!) means that little remains of the actual historical community.

    Therefore, presented in the visitor's center, are a number of displays that chronicle the history of the spot, from a Native American communtiy to the location where the vote was cast to determine if Oregon should become a state or not.

    Native American information includes a map of languages, as seen in photo 5.

    Included in the displays are maps and drawings that give some idea of what was once here, in order to provide some context to what you are visiting, since there is so little left of the original community.

    One interesting tidbit from the displays: Champoeg was once exporting more grain than the port of San Francisco, and so great things were predicted for the future of the community here as a vast center of trade and finance. Naturally, when the community was washed away, all of those aspirations went with it.

    For the official web site of the state park, see my tip about various Champoeg web sites.

    museum displays: Oregon to be a US state? British? displays at museum include Native American life museum display has map of old Champoeg town site museum display includes early fur trade display map of native languages and other museum displays scenes of the early Oregon settlement from museum
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Champoeg State Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

28 travelers online now

Comments

Champoeg State Park Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Champoeg State Park things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Champoeg State Park sightseeing.

View all Champoeg State Park hotels