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Champoeg State Park

Willamette Valley, Oregon

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Champoeg State Park

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  • Champoeg State Park Visitor Center and entry parking area.- Champoeg State Park
  • Champoeg State Park Visitor Center.- Champoeg State Park
  • Garden and picnic area at the Manson Barn.- Champoeg State Park
  • Picnic area under the shade of an Oregon white oak at the Manson Barn.- Champoeg State Park
  • A view of the visitor center from the Manson Barn.- Champoeg State Park
  • View north from the visitor center at Champoeg State Park.- Champoeg State Park
  • View across the upland prairie at Champoeg State Park.- Champoeg State Park
  • Picnic area at the Riverside Day Use Area.- Champoeg State Park
  • Picnic area at the Riverside Day Use Area.- Champoeg State Park
  • 1918 Pioneer Memorial Building in the Riverside Day Use Area.- Champoeg State Park
  • 1918 Pioneer Memorial Building in the Riverside Day Use Area.- Champoeg State Park
  • Picnic area at the Riverside Day Use Area.- Champoeg State Park
  • The Willamette River from Champoeg State Park.- Champoeg State Park
  • Giant black cottonwood along the pavilion trail.- Champoeg State Park
  • Pioneer Mothers' Cabin Museum.- Champoeg State Park
  • Champoeg State Park.- Champoeg State Park
  • View along the Townsite Trail.- Champoeg State Park
  • Group campsites off of the Townsite Trail.- Champoeg State Park
  • Group campsites off of the Townsite Trail.- Champoeg State Park
  • Champoeg State Park day use marina on the Willamette River.- Champoeg State Park
  • Champoeg State Park day use marina on the Willamette River.- Champoeg State Park
  • The Willamette River from Champoeg State Park.- Champoeg State Park
  • Oak Grove Day Use Area.- Champoeg State Park
  • Picnic tables at the Oak Grove Day Use Area.- Champoeg State Park
  • Picnic shelter at the Oak Grove Day Use Area.- Champoeg State Park
  • A bike path through the upland prairie.- Champoeg State Park
  • The view north across the upland prairie at Champoeg State Park.- Champoeg State Park
  • A bike path through the Upland Prairie.- Champoeg State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Historical site and cabins. River access. Extensive picnic areas. Disc golf course. Campground.
Cons: 
Manicured site...less natural.
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Region:
Willamette Valley, OR
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

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During the 19th century, ownership claims to much of the land west of the Mississippi River were constantly disputed.  The U.S. and British Treaty of 1818 formally defined a north-south boundary along the 49th parallel all the way from Minnesota to the "Stony Mountains" (Rocky Mountains).  The great expanse of land west of the Rockies would not have a defined boundary, however; it would be shared for common interests and use.  Americans at the time referred to the land as the Oregon Country, and the British called it the Columbia District of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Congregating on the banks of the Willamette River under giant black cottonwood trees in the small village of Champoeg, a group of Willamette Valley settlers made a vote in 1843 to formally establish a provisional government to oversee the grand expanse of western land.  Voting 52 to 50 the motion was passed.

In 1845 a prominent settler named William Gilpin traveled east to Washington to deliver the petition to the U.S. congress.  By then, however, much of the British and U.S. debate over the fate of the Pacific Northwest had been well underway.  Tensions between the parties sharing the Oregon Country were continuous.  Under the Polk administration, the U.S. pushed for a more northerly boundary near the 54th parallel (think "54°40’ or fight"), but the Spanish-American War broke out in the same year the Gilpin arrived in D.C., and in an effort to avoid simultaneous wars the U.S. agreed to the Oregon Treaty in 1846.  In the treaty the U.S. settled for extending the country's boundary along the 49th parallel all the way to the coast.  The treaty created a new official name for the U.S. land, the Oregon Territory, and Oregon City was chosen as its capital, not Champoeg.

In 1861 a great flood ripped through the valley.  The Willamette River rose 55 feet above normal levels, and the town of Champoeg was completely destroyed and never rebuilt.

Today, the Champoeg State Heritage Area is designated as a 623-acre state park that offers numerous attractions for visitors including:

  • The Old Champoeg town site, with the Memorial Pioneer Mothers' Cabin, the Pioneer Memorial Building, the Pavilion and Plaza, as well as the Newell House located at the intersection of Champoeg Road and French Prairie Road.
  • A visitor center that features historical exhibits, information, videos and a general store.
  • The Donald and Falicite Manson Farmstead that features costumed demonstrations highlighting the 1850s barn, garden, kitchen, and orchard.
  • Arguably more picnic areas than any other park in the state, all of which enjoy the shade of giant Douglas firs and Oregon white oaks.
  • A 15-hole disc golf course located in the Oak Grove Day Use Area.
  • 3 miles of paved bike paths leading to the Butteville Store, Oregon's oldest continuously operating store established in 1863.
  • Roughly 2.5 miles of hiking trails.
  • A boat ramp and a day use boat dock.
  • Champoeg State Park Campground, featuring full hook-up RV sites, yurts, cabins and group sites.

Note:  The Pioneer Memorial Pavilion, picnic areas, and the picnic shelter at the Oak Grove Day Use Area can all be reserved for group functions by calling 1.800.452.5687.  The Pavilion is $100 for the first 50 occupants, $1 for each additional person, with a 200 person maximum occupancy.  The picnic areas and shelter are $58 for the first 50 occupants, $1 for each additional person, with a 200 person maximum occupancy.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

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(91 within a 30 mile radius)

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