Willamette Park / Crystal Lake Sports Fields
One of the most popular parks in Corvallis is located on the south side of town along the Willamette River. The north end of the park is a very popular sports field complex (see photo 3) with the dominating sports being soccer and baseball.
Parts of the park are a "natural area", but the chances of seeing many types of wildlife are drastically reduced due to much of the park also being an off-leash dog area. Thus, if you want to see bird life your best bet is likely to be early in the morning on a weekday, before it is all driven into hiding.
The park also features a fairly good sized reservable picnic shelter, a popular disk golf course, and many other features that you would expect in a park.
There is a single, wide paved trail that runs from the north end of the park to the south end of the park. It is only towards the south end of the park that this trail runs along the river (see photo 1). It also runs through some of the recent forest plantings in the "natural area" (see photo 2) and through the middle of the soccer fields and the baseball fields. Many other trails branch off of this trail, but they are not paved.
There are no restroom facilities with flush toilets in the park. Instead, there are scattered portable toilets.
This is an extremely popular park, and parking is at a premium on weekend days with good weather (see photo 4).
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
News of Various Artist's Performances and Events
As mentioned in my Arts Center tip, there is a bulletin board in the hidden back corner of the building that gives a broad range of news of various artistic events, public performances, displays, lessons, and all manner of other things going on in the community and surrounding area.
To get here, you first have to go to the Arts Center, which is located just west of downtown on Madison Avenue - but as this street is partly closed you may have to come at it from the south or west if you are driving.
When you go into the front doors, if you ask about the arts community bulletin board or ask about where the restrooms are, you will be told to come back to this corner of the building.
The bulletin board hangs on a wall at the top of the staircase that goes down to the lower floor, where the bathrooms are.
The photo that you see was taken in January, and so even in the winter months this community is very active in terms of various events. Sure, it isn't as much as a big city has, but at the same time it is a lot more than many communities this size have going on in the middle of the non-tourist season.
The newspaper for The Arts Center also has some events noted in it as well, so you might want to pick up a copy of that.
- Theater Travel
- Arts and Culture
The Arts Center
Corvallis got an early start at being an artistic community. It is said to have been the first city in Oregon, and only the 21st nationally, to have a local arts council, for example.
The Arts Center originally started as a church (as should be obvious from the photographs) but the congregation that had it did not need it any more. At the same time, a search was on for a home for an arts center. Thus, The Arts Center was located, and one Corvallis historic building was preserved.
Today, outside The Arts Center, there are various sculptures in a courtyard between the building and Central Park. Don't miss the odd kinematic sculpture to the side of the building that paddles the air if the crank at the base is turned. The facility is used for a number of art events, which may include displays or concerts or various other events. The community art show (spring) features various works of art from those in the surrounding area, including sometimes very creative entrants by children. The building, being designed in the days before electronic public address systems, is said to be a wonderful place to listen to any human voice in song due to these acoustics.
The Arts Center also features a store (see separate tip ) in the front entrance area that features the works of various Willamette Valley artists and I have put that under a separate shopping tip.
Through the office in the back corner of the building you can find the staircase down to the restrooms. At the top of these stairs, you will be able to find a large bulletin board of various arts events throughout the community, including performances, visual arts, classes, etc. It is probably one of the better places in town to find out what is going on in the area, but it is quite hidden from those who don't know it is there.
Please note that the web site URL below is the one printed on the newsletter for the organization. On the other hand, a new URL has been created at http://www.artcentric.org/
- Arts and Culture
Central Park features a wide open grass areas that are useful for getting a bit of exercise, as well as a number of flower beds that are dedicated and maintained by various individiuals. On the south side of Central Park, between the park and The Arts Center, there is an open plaza featuring a few statues and other outdoor artwork. One of the Eccentric Outdoor Sculptures is beside the arts center and might be missed if you aren't paying attention.
Dogs are not allowed in the park.
Some of the featured plants are identified with tags with descriptions in both English and braille.
There is a reasonably nice playground on the south side in the event your children need a break from the car and need to run around a little bit.
Monroe, on the north side of the park, is a busy street so you will probably not want to get too close to that, particulary if you have little ones.
- Family Travel
Peavey Arboretum / McDonald State Forest
Peavey Arboretum and the McDonald State Forest are part of one complex of facilities. Oregon State University operates the research part of the facilities here, while the state forest one of quite a number of such state forests in the coast range.
While not inside the city of Corvallis, Corvallis is the closest community of any significant size and therefore I have put under this category. The actual location is closest to what is now known as "Adair Village", though is best known by longtime Oregon residents as "Camp Adair", a former military reservation. I may therefore move this item to "Adair Village" if I start to accumulate some worthwhile tips on that community.
Peavey Arboretum and the McDonald State Forest have a number of trails through them, some of which are loops that either return to the same starting point or close to the same starting point. The trails are reasonably well maintained, and the forest is fairly thick.
The Woodland Trail features signs that introduce the forest to those who need an introduction to the very basics of how forests work. This trail, while hidden in the forest, is also unfortunately close to the highway noise of 99W. If you want less society noise and more wilderness, head deeper into the facility, where you will find the Firefighters Memorial Trail, Discovery Trail, and a few others that get away from the highway.
The facility features a memorial shelter, trees and trail dedicated to the nine Oregon firefighters that were killed in the line of duty in a 1994 forest fire in Colorado.
The phone number below is for the Oregon State University College of Forestry, which operates the research part of the facilities. The web site, below, is for the College Forests (of which there are several).
- Hiking and Walking
Riverfront Commemorative Park
This park runs along the Willamette River through central downtown Corvallis. There are several sculptures, a fountain, and a number of park benches and shady areas. There is a paved sidwalk trail that runs the length of the park, and beyond, serving as a connection to areas beyond the park.
- Hiking and Walking
Very beautiful place but I have not seen a single seal!!!!!!!! Is it just a name? Or am I the unluckiest person to go over there? Well to say the truth, it was pretty stormy day. It did not clear up until I was ready to leave. Good thing, I had my digital camera with me and I was able to take many pictures. Enjoy it.
The Trail of Ten Falls
This is my favorite. Located in Silver Falls State Park, canyon trail or the trail of ten falls is definitely a must see. It is around seven miles hike in a loop with breath taking scenery. The whole journey takes minimum of three hours. However, you don't have finish the whole trail. Therefore, it's nice if you have two cars so you can leave one at the point where you plan to give up. Also a good idea is to bring food and enough water.
From its name it is obvious that you will pass by several water falls. I was specially impresses by the North Falls. When you reach it, the trail takes behind the water. The area behind the water is huge. It would fit a hundred people probably. This open space creates an amazing amphitheater. The water sound is so loud as if you are near a huge aircraft taking off.
- Hiking and Walking
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