Late Fall at Champoeg

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Champoeg Park

By a nail-biting vote of 52-50 in 1843, Oregon became a provisional territory of the United States. The voting site is at Champoeg Park on the Willamette River about 20 miles southwest of Portland.

There was a city at Champoeg (cham-poo-e’) at one time, but several floods in the late 1800’s destroyed most of the buildings. I included a photo showing how high the water rose in 1861. Maybe as a hint for the modern day, the Champoeg folks learned their lesson and soon moved to higher ground.

After visiting the pavilion and monument commemorating the 1843 event, I took a short loop to the west along the river. The cottonwood trees were very large, as big as any I have ever seen.

After returning to the pavilion, I began hiking to the east on a cinder path, which soon turned to a paved lane along the River.

A side path took me by an 1845 pioneer woman’s gravesite and then a nature hike loop. I spotted a young blacktail buck lying in the colorful fall leaves. He soon left as he saw me approaching for a better photo.

I then hiked an additional 1 1/2 miles to the Butteville Store, originally opened in 1863.

The hike back to the trailhead was very pleasant with squirrels and songbirds keeping me company.

A young Blacktail Buck taking a break (camouflage extraordinaire)

Cottonwoods along the Willamette River

Nice amenities along the trail

Butteville Store

High watermark way above my hiking poles

Blackberry leaves


Gray Squirrel in a sea of fallen Oak leaves enjoying an acorn

Pioneer woman’s grave marker

The site of the beginning of the Oregon Territory

Blacktail Buck sneaking away

Early morning fog in Downtown Portland



Categories: Portland Area HikesTags: , , ,


  1. I so look foreword to receiving your email each week (almost each week)
    they make my day.
    God Bless

  2. John,
    Very nice job capturing Champoeg. We’ve visited many times and have found it delightful. Hope all’s well.

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