From Clackamette Park to the Willamette Falls Viewpoint in historic Oregon City, this nearly 4 mile walk has so much fun! The union of two rivers, parks, promenade, historic riverfront district, transient piers, sea lions, beaver toothpicks, hungry birds, travel up into a flying saucer with glimpses through time and space, bluffs, step waterfall, abandoned mill, hydro power plant & locks, and the crowning jewel: a view of the largest waterfall in the NW (by volume). (OK, maybe it's not a UFO, but it is disk shaped and hovers over the city.)
We'll walk trail from Clackamette park, at the union of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers, along the Oregon City Promenade overlooking the Willamette River, then into old town Oregon City, up the only vertical street in America, then walk the bluff trail to the viewing platform for the powerful Willamette Falls, and back down via the long gentle bluff stairs (optional)featuring more waterfalls. Clackamette park is a haven for waterfowl that stay all year due to handouts. The promenade provides amazing river views, including invasive sea lions. Old Town Oregon City features a plethora of antique and collectible shops, a giant abandoned mill, and it’s most unusual feature-the Municipal Elevator. The Oregon City Municipal Elevator is officially "Elevator Street", the only vertical street in North America, and is a 130-foot tall tower built in 1955 to connect the lower city to the upper. It's free, staffed, and has an access tunnel and an observation deck up top for amazing river and mill views. Both tunnel and deck are lined with large holographic pictures of the elevators construction as well as some indigenous and cultural local history. It began as a water-powered elevator in 1915, but was upgraded to an electric-powered elevator in 1954. It is an example of Googie architecture, which is reminiscent of the space-age housing structures in the Jetson's cartoon show. To add to this fun, the elevator is also reported to host the ghost of a red-haired boy named Carl Green that died after drinking contaminated river water. From the top, the bluff trail continues offering views of a huge abandoned mill and Willamette falls.
This absolutely fabulous walk will be nearly 4 miles long, mostly on concrete trails and street sidewalks. Please wear stabilizing active footwear such as sneakers, hiking boots or Tivas. Bring water or snacks as needed. Friendly dogs are welcome on leash. They are even allowed in the elevator. If you want to carpool from some distant part of town, then leave a comment and we’ll try to find someone going your way. The walk will take an hour to an hour and a half, but allow the two hour window due to any view breaks or general group lag. This should be fun! Let’s take a walk!
Meet/park near the Clackamette Park restrooms (straight in towards the boat ramp, just left of the park entrance), just past McDonalds and across from the Coastal strip mall. 1955 Clackamette Dr, Oregon City, OR 97045. Contact organizer Dr. Mindy Curry at 503-995-8674 with any questions.
1955 Clackamette Dr
Oregon City, OR 97045
Google map and directions