History and Nature Interwined at Champoeg State Park

 

Looking  west

Looking west

I was a bit jealous of boaters on a hot day

I was a bit jealous of boaters on a hot day

Champoeg State Park, set along the verdant banks of the of the Willamette River, is the sit of a  pioneer town of the 1840s where settlers gathered to talk shop and politics. Today it is a fine place to show off some of that history juxtaposed to the natural beauty of the area.  

Part of the disc golf course

Part of the disc golf course

Seven miles west of I-5, the park’s quaint visitor’s center helps people get a feel for the area’s history and natural beauty.  After I had my fill of displays explaining regional Native American linguistic influence, endangered wildlife species in the area, and settler arguments over government influence, I set out for a walk in the midday heat.  

Blackberries at various points along the ripeness continuum.

Blackberries at various points along the ripeness continuum.

I started down a paved path along fields dotted with the largest hay bales I’d ever seen. Eventually I skirted a disc golf course, which seemed an anomaly in a state park, but why not?  

Ivy coating half of the tree trunk

Ivy coating half of the tree trunk

There are a couple main day use areas.  At each one, there were pint-sized campers, accompanied by a few adult counselors.  The kids seemed excited to go by the river.  

Nice spot for a boating adventure

Nice spot for a boating adventure

The water was certainly a shiny beacon, but I continued along a giant field, in the middle of which there was an apparent archaeological dig.  The walking was mostly flat, so I was surprised to see few other walkers.  There were actually more cyclists on the paved paths. 

Campers near the trail

Campers near the trail

More history

More history

After a couple hours at Champoeg State Park, I came to appreciate it on a few levels.  I was a great spot for historical reference, nature appreciation, hiking–even a game of disc golf.  After sweating my way through the sun scorched open fields, I was mostly appreciative of my car’s air conditioning. 

Walking back up to the visitor's center

Walking back up to the visitor’s center

About Josh Baker

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ― John Muir

Posted on July 31, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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