Wild in the Willamette: Exploring the Mid-Valley’s Parks, Trails, and Natural Areas

By Oregon State University Press | February 25, 2015
Jackson Frazier wet meadow © H. Crosson
Jackson Frazier wet meadow © H. Crosson

Located between the big population centers of Portland and Eugene, Oregon’s Willamette Valley boasts rich opportunities for outdoor recreation that are too often overlooked. Wild in the Willamette is a guidebook to the natural treasures of the mid-Willamette Valley, extending far beyond the familiar I-5 corridor. Sprinkled with natural history sidebars and infused with essays by notable local authors, it aims to connect residents and visitors with the best hiking, biking, and paddling opportunities the mid-Valley offers.

With a special focus on seven watersheds—the Marys, Calapooia, South Santiam, North Santiam, Luckiamute, Yamhill, and Pudding—as well as the middle portion of the main stem Willamette River, the book describes a range of outings at different levels of challenge. Families with young children, day hikers, long-distance backpackers, kayakers, canoeists, bird watchers, and cyclists alike will find ideas for spending a satisfying afternoon or venturing outside for a multiday trip.

Whether choosing a wheelchair-accessible trail, a rugged hike in a wilderness area, a dip in a rocky swimming hole, a paddle on the broad Willamette, or a bike ride through farmland — whether lifetime residents or week-long visitors, outdoor enthusiasts will benefit from detailed notes on the history and ecology of this special place on earth. Armchair travelers will also find reward in the book’s literary offerings.

Generously illustrated with maps and keys to the area’s many attractions, Wild in the Willamette is an essential guide to the natural wonders of Oregon’s mid-Valley wilderness.

WILD IN THE WILLAMETTE was contributed to by forty-plus outdoor enthusiasts and noted writers who fanned out across the mid-Willamette Valley to explore its wild and special places by foot, by bike, and by boat. The book honors the memory of Gail Achterman (1949–2012), one of Oregon’s foremost experts in natural resources, environmental law, and transportation policy, and director of the Institute for Natural Resources at OSU from 2003 to 2011.

Available November 2015

Approximately 384 pages, 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-0-87071-780-2, paperback, $22.95

Copyright ©2013- 2023 Benton Soil & Water Conservation District. All rights reserved.