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Champoeg State Heritage Area
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Contact: (503) 678-1251 Visitor Center X221 Park manager: Dan Klug X222
Location: 8239 Champoeg Rd NE, St Paul, OR 97137
Visitor center hours: daily 10 am to 6 pm; Sundays 10 am to 5 pm
Trail hours: Visitor Center open daily except holidays: October—January 11 am—4 pm; February—May 10 am—4:30 pm; June—September 9 am—5 pm
Transit: no public transit
Parking fee: $5 daily or $30 for an annual pass
Trail loop length: approximately 3 miles
How difficult we consider it: Easy to challenging with 3 areas with steep grades and cross-slopes
Date of last visit: October 31, 2016
Champoeg State Heritage Area features a unique combination of history, nature and recreation. This is the site where Oregon’s first provincial government was formed by a historic vote in 1843. Situated on the southern bank of the Willamette River, acres of forest and fields re-create the landscape of a bygone era.
Access Recreation’s (AR) suggested trail loop begins near the visitor center where there are a large parking lot, accessible restrooms and picnicking. Come here for free exhibits, videos, information and advice. Behind the visitor center is the Manson Farmstead and barn where there is an 1860s-style garden and reenactments of how things were done back in the day. Access routes from the visitors center are over grass or compacted gravel. Take a guided walk to learn what happened to the bustling pioneer town of Champoeg and how the Donald Manson Barn was built. Call ahead to schedule your trip around these happenings.
Taking the paved trail east from the visitor center, there is a steep section that evens out for a relatively flat landscape and network of trails. Follow the signs to the Kitty Newell Trail. Along the way, you will pass the Oak Grove day-use area. Here you will find picnic tables, an accessible restroom and disc golf course.
Signage will lead you from the paved trail to the natural surface of the Kitty Newell Trail. It begins on grass, then enters a treed area where you may encounter narrow sections of trail with steep grades and cross-slopes.
Continue the loop past a boat dock. The dock can be reached by a ramp or stairs. There is a grab-bar to assist boaters onto the dock. There are overflow parking, accessible vault toilets, camping, and picnic areas here. This is also where the townsite of Champoeg used to be. You can still see signposts for the streets. In 1860, the Willamette River flooded and the town was abandoned.
Follow the signs back to the visitor center along a paved trail. This loop is approximately 3 miles in length with the occasional bench along the way. The park is open year-round with seasonal hours.
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