Hike Distance: 6.2 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 260.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 316 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 31028 feet
I wanted a level hike that was not covered in snow so we set out to Champoeg (pronounced Shampoo-ee) in Oregon. We parked at a lot just off Champoeg Road near the heritage area. The lot was almost empty and we loved having much of the park to ourselves!
The heritage area has a gift shop and washroom. there is also a historic area where we’ve seen demonstrations of how the pioneers built things out of wood. This event is great for kids and I’m sure there’s info on dates when this occurs. 🙂
We headed down the paved trail and crossed a wood bridge that crosses Champoeg Creek. We then crossed a road and at the paved trail intersection turned left to make a clockwise loop around the huge field. There were nice views of the mountains in the background. There was also a small pond in the foreground, that was obviously just a flooded area.
The paved trail takes you to another parking area where you also meet the Townsite Trail. The Townsite Trail goes east and affords views of the Willamette River. It is also a nice dirt trail. On this trail we saw a couple of volunteer groups that were cutting damaged trees. At the end of the Townsite Trail our directions are difficult to describe. We had to cross another car crossing bridge, over Champoeg Creek, and this gives you access to a paved trail that leads to the historic Butteville Store.
The first section of this paved trail you’ll pass by cabins, yurts and an RV camping area. The ivy in this area is severely overgrown! We’ll have to come back and lay waste to the ivy! haha After passing this camping area the trail turns into a beautiful rural forested area that follows the Willamette River. We went an approx. 1.5 miles on this trail before turning around. We didn’t make it to the Butteville Store but have done this in the past. I believe the store may only be open in the summer months, but on our last visit it was closed.
After turning around we again crossed the Champoeg Creek bridge and then continued our clockwise loop around the main park area. There is a large frisbee disc course just west of this bridge and there were a few people playing on it. It wasn’t long before we returned to our car to end this hike. I highly recommend a visit to this park and it is family friendly! There is much to explore and there are plenty of opportunities for exploration!