Willamette Mission is one of the most significant and beautiful historic sites in the Willamette Valley. The park is the site of the first mission for Native Americans in the west, founded in 1834 by Reverend Jason Lee. The Methodist Mission was the first American settlement after the fur trading forts in the Oregon Territory. The original buildings are represented by framed outlines called ghost structures and can be seen with a short jaunt on the Mission Trail. Walk a little further and the landing for the Wheatland Ferry — the first to carry a wagon and ox team across the Willamette River in 1844 — is there, welcoming visitors to ride.
The other ‘big feature’ of the park is the Nation’s Largest Black Cottonwood – it’s been around for over 250 years. It on the bank of the mile-long oxbow lake – Mission Lake, along with an array of grassy meadows, flowering shrubs, trees and outstanding bird and wildlife viewing.
The park offers many daytime opportunities for trail enthusiasts, boaters, anglers and picnic groups. It’s known for the trails – From rugged but sandy equestrian multi-use trails, to soft-landing jogging, history and nature trails, to sure-footed paved trails. Sixteen miles in all – sure to find your suit! Willamette Mission picnic areas are filbert and walnut orchards for family fall picking. For those that enjoy water, plan your spring or early summer trip fishing the docks or canoeing Mission Lake or boating 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, sunny areas and trees for shade, plus ample room for parking. You can even rent a large barbecue at the park.
The park also has areas with reservations for volleyball, horseshoes, softball and soccer.
Plan on Willamette Mission as a part of your picnic or group activity.
Camping and Picnicking
- Picnic shelters: The park’s three picnic shelters include covered kitchen area with picnic tables, electricity and water. Each is alongside a spacious lawn with horseshoe pits and a volleyball net, with nearby flush restrooms. Park Manager approval is required for over 150 people and for event or equipment staging. Shelters are first-come, first-served when not reserved.
- Beaver Island Group Camp: Space for up to 100 tent campers, with a fire ring, picnic tables, water and outhouse. Flush restroom building is nearby. No showers, power or shelter.
- Horse Camp: Four spacious sites, each with four stalls, a fire ring and two picnic tables.
- Hiker/biker camp (no reservations)
- Reservable facilities are closed seasonally.
- NOTE: Park does not have showers.
The Wheatland Disc Golf Course features 18 holes that weave through a hazelnut grove. A fairway map and scorecards are available at the start of the course.