Willamette Mission State Park Travel Guide

  • A second View of Mission Lake at Sunset
    A second View of Mission Lake at Sunset
    by glabah
  • Sunset  Starts over Mission Lake, 4:15 pm
    Sunset Starts over Mission Lake, 4:15...
    by glabah
  • Bald Eagle guards the Nest from Nearby Tree
    Bald Eagle guards the Nest from Nearby...
    by glabah

Willamette Mission State Park Things to Do

  • Filbert Collecting

    In mid-September, you will find that the area around the Filbert Orchard has a large number of people gathering the "wild" filberts that fall to the ground in this area.The "orchard" as it were has been pretty much abandoned to the wills of the wild, though some pruning does happen from time to time.Although supposedly removal of material from...

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  • outdoor volley ball nets and courts

    There are four volley ball courts scattered through the central area of Willamette Mission State Park. Other than they are here for people to enjoy, and some have covered picnic areas nearby, there isn't too much to say about them.It is, however, certainly one thing that is in Willamette Mission State Park to do!For the web site for the state park,...

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  • Wheelchair Accessible Fishing Dock...

    While this dock is designed to provide a fishing location for those who can not walk easily, or are even wheelchair, fishing is not the only reason to come down here. The dock provides a nice viewing platform for a considerable portion of mission lake. Bring binoculars and other telephoto equipment, as you may need to look down the lake fairly far...

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  • Civil War Battle Re-Enactment

    Every year, around or on the 4th of July, the Northwest Civil War Council does one of its battle re-enactments here at Willamette Mission State Park. The exact schedule events depends on what dates are available that year, so it is best to check the web site below for details.The battle re-enactment is a fairly thorough affair, with the only...

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  • Horse Trails in Willamette Mission State...

    Many of the trails in Willamette Mission State Park are horse trails. Some of these trails allow bicycles and pedestrians as well, while others only allow horses and pedestrians.As horses may be easily frightened, the trail protocal (as stated on the signs in the park) say that in those places where horses, pedestrians and bicycles may interact,...

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  • Picnic: Covered or Shaded

    While any good park should have some benches and picnic tables, Willamette Park has quite good facilities. There are a large number of shaded areas with picnic tables, plus several picnic structures for true shelter in really bad weather.Mission Lake A and Mission Lake B are two of the areas where there are covered picnic areas, as well as lots of...

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  • Willamette Mission Cottonwood: USA's...

    In 1735, give or take some years, this impressive tree started growing, and continues growing to this day. The Mission Lake viewpoint of the tree allows for a complete view from top to bottom, while the Willamette Vision Educational Trail side of the tree allows for a closeup view of the impressive trunk of this tree.This is the USA's largest black...

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  • Wildlife Viewing Platforms and Entrance...

    Park entrance kiosks are just plain information boards - except when they are not!Turning right into the information kiosk parking area of this park not only gets you to the information kiosk area, where you can get one of the excellent maps of the park and read news about the park, but it is also a picnic area, wildlife viewing area, and trailhead...

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  • Willamette Vision Educational Trail

    Most people enter the park, and head directly for the main part of the park on the seasonal island next to the river. However, after you pay your fee at the pay booth, turn left into a circular parking lot with a "vault toilet" (ie, pit toilet) and an information kiosk, and two wildlife blinds. This is the trailhead for a 2.5 mile hiking loop...

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  • Bike Paths in Willamette Mission State...

    Paved Bike Paths form a loop around the main part of the park, with a connection trail northward to the Wheatland Ferry and the north parking lot. There are approximately 4 miles of these paved trails, which run through forest and grassland.Warnings:+ wet leaves are slippery. Be very careful if you have never biked in the rain before on wet...

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  • Mission Ghost Structure Viewing Area

    All original buildings at the Willamette Mission are long gone, and even the Willamett River has changed course since the mission was here. However, in order to give modern visitors some idea of the location of the structures and their size, "Ghost Structures" (steel frames forming the approximate outline of the buildings) have been erected on...

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  • Civil War reenactment

    Unfortunately, I learned about this one too late this year to attend, but apparantely Northwest Civil War Council hosts a living history and reenactment event at Willamette Mission park every year around 4th of July. So, if you are into civil war era history, this would be the place to go. I'll be there next year with my camera for sure.For more...

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Willamette Mission State Park Transportation

  • Local Roads or Interstate or Ferry

    NOTE: the local roads on this tip may also be done by Bicycle. However, they are all fairly narrow roads and people drive much too fast for the conditions. The good news is that traffic on most of them is fairly light. You do not want to, nor is it legal to, ride your bike on Interstate 5, which is the route that is best marked with state park...

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  • Wheatland Ferry: limited length, toll...

    Wheatland Ferry, on Wheatland Road between Willamette Mission State Park and the community of Wheatland, is the only crossing of the Willamette River between Newberg and Salem. The current fee is $1.35 for cars and pickups, $1 for motorcycles, and vehicles that require using the entire ferry, or past a certain weight limit, $18. The maximum length...

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  • Excellent Trail Signs, and Map...

    Despite Willamette Mission State Park not being as frequently visited as a number of other state parks nearby (Silver Falls or Champoeg, for example) the maps and signs in the park are very well maintained, and the responsible parties should be thanked for keeping park visitors so well informed.(On the other hand, this may also reflect the damage...

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Willamette Mission State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Occasional Flooding and Trail and Road...

    From time to time, the Willamette River decides that its old channel, which it decided to abandon in favor of a new channel in the 1860s, is in fact not so bad. When it decides to return to its former route, it floods the road leading into the main parking area as well as some of the trails.When the river is this high, generally the gates are...

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  • Wildlife here Includes Cougars!

    As stated in publicly posted signs throughout the park, cougars have been sighted here. The signs give tips on how to deal with this situation:+ Don't run. Running indicates "I think I might be lunch" and thus the cougars are more likely to chase and attack something that is running away from them.+ Talk or otherwise make noise while you walk, so...

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Willamette Mission State Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Bald Eagles

    The "Bald Eagles" aren't exactly "off the beaten path", but neather are they a "thing to do".However, they do frequently escape observation by visitors to the park, and so "Off the Beaten Path" is about as close as we can get.Bald Eagles prefer to eat fish, and so you will probably find them reasonably close to the river or one of the small lakes...

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  • Osprey and other Nests

    Keep your eyes out for various nests in the park. There are osprey, turkey vultures, and possibly bald eagle around, and I have seen one kestrel.For the best view of these nests, you really need to come in spring (when there may be young in them) and bring some binoculars or other good telephoto equipment. For looking long distance at these, a...

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