Early Autumn 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. If not, I may have ended up speaking with a Cockney accent. 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. 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.

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

Reflections in the Willamette River

History of the Park


Yurts in one of the campgrounds

The beady eyes of the Woolly Bear are on me

Fence along the trail

Looking up (south) the Willamette River from the town site

Pleasant stretch of trail

The height of two of the Champoeg area floods

Private dock on the Willamette River across from the Park




Categories: Portland Area HikesTags: ,


  1. These are beautiful and it looks peaceful there. Love the path into greenery, the stillness of the lake, and the cute little Woolly Bear. The high water markings are a nice reference to historical floods. I will have to see if they’ve done something that for Mobile when Katrina hit.

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