Description - Willamette Mission is one of the most significant and beautiful historic sites in the Willamette Valley. The park occupies land where the first mission for American Indians was founded in 1834 by the Reverend Jason Lee. Members of the Methodist Mission were later active in the formation of Oregon government. A monument is located in the park providing information on this settlement. A landing for the Wheatland Ferry -- the first to carry the covered wagon across the Willamette River in 1844 -- is in the park.
Copyright: O'Rourke - US Forest Service
Horseback riding in Willamette Mission State Park
- The park offers many daytime opportunities for boaters, anglers and other users. Some of Willamette Mission's 1,680 acres hold filbert and walnut orchards. The nation's largest black cottonwood is in the park (it's older than the U.S. -- it's been around for over 250 years). There are grassy meadows surrounded by an array of flowers, plants, and trees. For those that enjoy water, there's Mission Lake and the Willamette River.
Willamette Mission State Park is perfect for your next picnic! The excellent picnic facilities are reservable for large groups. There are picnic shelters, electricity, restrooms, water faucets, picnic tables, fire rings, sunny areas and trees for shade, plus ample room for parking. The park also has areas set aside for volleyball, horse shoes, softball and soccer. Canoe and horse rentals are offered through a concessionaire at the park.
Horse camp facilities include four sites (two pull through). Sites can accommodate up to two camping units and four pack animals (reserve by calling 1-800-452-4687). Eight miles of trails run along the Willamette River, with an incredible amount of native birds, plants and wildlife.
Vital stats: A small fee or an annual parks pass are required for day-use of the park. A horse camp exists with 4 sites.
Recreation - Willamette Mission State Park provides opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, biking, picnicking, horseback riding, viewing interpretive signs, bird watching, viewing wildlife and viewing historic sites.
Climate - Climate in this region changes with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as wet heavy snow in the higher elevations. Winter temperatures are normally cool at the lower elevations and cold at the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent and does not stay on the ground for long. Late spring, summer and early autumn bring the best chance for clear, sunny days and bring moderate temperatures.
Willamette Mission State Park is located in the Willamette Valley Region, on Wheatland Road, 8 miles north of Salem, or take I-5 Exit 263 and follow the signs.