Willamette Mission State Park

Willamette Mission State Park Gervais OR is a sprawling 1,680-acre park containing miles of running trails. The flat terrain is broken up by backwater sloughs, agricultural fields, and wooded “thickets” that offer multiple route choices.

The park is named after a Methodist mission established here in 1834 by Jason Lee. The mission buildings were washed away in a flood in 1861. Read on to know more.


Located alongside the Willamette River north of Salem, Willamette Mission State Park is home to woodlands, wetlands, lush meadows, and working farmland. It is also a United Methodist Heritage Landmark and a place where visitors can learn about Reverend Jason Lee’s first mission for American Indians in 1834.

The park offers excellent picnic options with reservable shelters, electricity, restrooms, and more. Several trails are available throughout the park and the gorgeous Mission Lake attracts water lovers.

The park also has a hiker/biker camp and an equestrian camping area. The paved trail is perfect for walking, running, or cycling, and horseback riding is popular with locals.


Founded in 1834 as a Methodist mission to the Kalapuya, this park encompasses a beautiful river, two marvelous lakes, and an array of fields and orchards. It also contains the nation’s largest black cottonwood, an old-growth forest, and numerous picnic areas.

You can take a boat out on Mission Lake and cast your line for bass or bluegill. Goose Lake requires a bit of a hike to reach, but it offers good fishing opportunities as well.

The park also has a hiker/biker camp popular with long-distance cyclists, as well as an equestrian campground that has four sites complete with corrals. You can also rent a bike or horse from the park office. Check it out here.


Whether you’re looking to snag some fish, set up camp, or go for a hike, there’s plenty to see and do at Willamette Mission State Park. This 1,600-acre park is home to five miles of bike paths, seven miles of horse trails, and a two-and-a-half-mile self-guided educational trail.

Begin at the day-use trailhead and walk through lichen-draped filberts past the Wheatland ferry landing to reach an Oregon ash woodland with a few large cottonwoods. You’ll find reed canary grass, Armenian blackberry, and poison oak in the undergrowth. Skirt a large marionberry planting and reach the big vista of Mission Lake and the nation’s largest black cottonwood tree estimated at 270 years old.


With miles of biking trails, this is a great place for an after-work ride in summer or a leisurely weekend ride year-round. Explore wetlands and meadows that teem with wildlife, or visit the nation’s largest black cottonwood tree.

A riverside trail leads to the site of an 1834 Methodist mission and offers views of the Willamette River and historic landmarks, including the oldest ferry landing in Oregon. This easy, level loop includes the opportunity to ride on the free Willamette River Ferry (free for pedestrians). Leashed pets are welcome.


The park includes the site of a Methodist mission in 1834. Founded by Reverend Jason Lee, it later became a hub for the development of Oregon’s government. Framed outlines of the original buildings are recreated in the park as “ghost structures.”

This scenic area features woodlands and wetlands, plus sprawling meadows and farmland. Hikers can explore the nation’s largest black cottonwood tree on a riverside loop that also passes by the 1834 settlement and Wheatland Ferry landing. Those who prefer to get on the water will find boating on Mission Lake and Goose Lake. A great spot for bass, smallmouth, and largemouth, as well as bluegill and crappie.


A favorite activity among locals is horseback riding on the park’s equestrian trails. These are scenic trails that pass through woodland, wetland, and working farmland.

There are also daytime activities such as picnicking, disc golf, and camping. The park has several picnic areas and a few shelters with covered kitchen areas.

Visitors can stroll along the mile-long Mission Trail, goggle at framed outlines of the original mission buildings, and board the historic Wheatland Ferry for a ride across the Willamette River. Or visit a nearby vineyard to taste the distinct wines that come from different growing regions in Oregon. Leashed pets are allowed to enjoy the park as well. Next blog post.

Driving directions from A+ Exterior Cleaning to Willamette Mission State Park

Driving directions from Willamette Mission State Park to Minto-Brown Island Park