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Champoeg State Heritage Area

Near Portland, Oregon, United States

mdi-tent Reserve

Champoeg State Heritage Area features a rare combination of history, nature, and recreation. Situated south of Newburg along the scenic Willamette River, Champoeg's forests, fields, and wetlands recreate the landscape of a bygone era.

This is the site where Oregon's first provisional government was formed by a historical vote in 1843. A thriving town of 200 was established, only to be washed away during a great flood in 1861. This rich history earns the park’s placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

A diversity of activities await. Enjoy walking or biking on the paved trails that pass historical landmarks and hug the river. Play the 18-hole disc golf course under the oak trees, relax at the multitude of scenic picnic areas, or fish or kayak from dock on the Willamette River.

The ecologically rich landscape is home to more than 130 bird species, including seasonally nesting western bluebirds and acorn woodpeckers.

Camping

Some services are reduced due to Covid-19. Book reservations up to 30 days in advance.

  • 21 Full-hookup sites
  • 54 Electric sites with water
  • 6 tent sites, with parking area nearby
  • 6 yurts (3 pet-friendly; see our Pets in Parks FAQ for more info) 
  • 6 cabins (3 pet-friendly; see our Pets in Parks FAQ for more info) 
  • Hiker/biker camp
  • Flush toilets NO SHOWERS
  • Firewood and ice for sale
  • Dump Station
  • Universal Access: All of the cabins, one yurt, one full-hookup site, four standard electric sites, and one tent site are accessible to campers with disabilities.

Group Facilities

Reserve group facilities at oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com. The website has additional details about facilities.

Group picnic sites

The park has three spacious day-use areas that offer reservable group picnic areas. When they are not reserved, facilities are first-come, first-served. The Pioneer Memorial Building and Pavilion can be rented together or separately for special events of up to 200 people. Reservations may be made by calling 800-452-5687.

Group tent sites

Three spacious and shaded group tent sites are located by the dock, away from the main campground and a short walk to the Oak Grove Day-use Area. Each accommodates up to 25 people and six vehicles. Sites do not have hookups. Vault toilets are nearby.

Group RV site

This large, open group site has 16 paved parking sites, five of which have electric hookups., and it's own restroom facility. It includes a large group fire pit, horseshoe and volleyball courts, picnic tables and a barbecue grill. Site reservation includes the meeting hall that accommodates up to 50 people and has heat, electric and water.  

Preserving the Past

Whether you explore the park’s rich history on your own, or join a ranger-led tour, you won’t want to miss these sites.

Champoeg Visitor Center (CLOSED): Exhibits tell the story of the people who have shaped this landscape, from the Kalapuya Indians to fur trappers to the settlers who built the town. Tour on your own or take a guided walk to learn what happened to the bustling town of Champoeg, and who were the early settlers.

Manson Barn and Farmstead: Behind the Visitor Center lies in 1860s-style garden and barn. Both depict what life would have been like for homesteaders Donald and Felicite Manson. 

Pioneer Memorial Building: This pavilion and plaza on the banks of the Willamette marks the site of the famous 1843 vote that formed the first government in the Northwest. A monument carved with the names of the men who voted marks the formation of the original Champoeg Park.

Beyond Champoeg

Newell Pioneer Village: Just outside the park, this museum includes the restored log cabin of prominent settler Robert Newell. Operated by Daughters of the American Revolution, the museum includes a mid-19th century school and jail. Information: newellpioneervillage.com or 503-678-5537.

Town of Butteville: Take the park trail east along the Willamette River 4 miles to Butteville, another early town that survived the 1861 flood. Visit the Historic Butteville Store, possibly the oldest operating store in Oregon. The store is the last commercial vestige of the once thriving Willamette River community. Information: butteville.org.

Know Before You Go

  • Drones and metal detectors are not allowed anywhere in the park. 
  • Dogs are welcome at Champoeg but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times, except while in the off-leash dog park.
  • Electric bikes are allowed on the 4-mile bike trail from Riverside Day-use to the town of Butteville. The following devices are not allowed: electric scooters, mountain boards, electric unicycles, and other similar devices.
  • For additional information, contact Park Manager, John Mullen, at 503-970-8545 or john.mullen@oregon.gov.
mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-tent Open for camping Year Round
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-currency-usd Day-use parking permit required
(purchase 1-day permit on site)
Buy annual parking permit
mdi-cellphone Call for reservations: 800-452-5687
Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 503-678-1251
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Amenities & Features

Questions

mdi-help-circle-outline General

Can I leave my car at Champoeg while I take an overnight bike trip on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway?

Yes.  You will need to check in with a ranger at the campground booth prior to leaving your car in the 'B' Loop overflow parking lot.  You will need to purchase a day pass for every day you will be parked here or have an annual pass for your car. 

What is the address of the park?

The physical address for the park is 8239 Champoeg Rd NE, Saint Paul, OR 97137.  Use this address to program into your GPS.

The mailing address for the park business office is 7679 Champoeg Rd NE, Saint Paul, OR 97137.

mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed

Is there river/swimming access within the park?

The only river access within the park is at the boat dock.  Because of the strong current and unseen underwater hazards, swimming is prohibited from the dock.  Our soft surface Townsite walking trail and the eastern half of our paved biking trail that leads to the Butteville Store both provide views of the river, but no designated swimming areas as the river banks are dangerously steep.

Are kiddie pools allowed in campsites?
We do not allow kiddie pools in the park to conserve water and protect campsites from damage. There is also a potential liability issue if pool is left unattended.
For more questions, review our statewide FAQ

History

Prior to 1840

The Champoeg prairie was home to Kalapuya Indians, who had used the area for hunting, fishing, and gathering camas bulbs for thousands of years. Fur trappers first visited Champooick, as the area was known, in 1811. The Willamette Post was established in 1813 to serve the trappers.

The Seeds of Government

In 1841, area settlers began holding “wolf meetings” to discuss problems with predators. Eventually, the meetings turned to larger issues, and on May 2, 1843, the settlers voted 52 to 50 to establish a new provisional government for the area.

Transportation Hub

Although the provisional government moved to Oregon City in 1844, Champoeg’s location on the river made it a regular stop for stagecoaches and steam boats. By the end of the 1850s, the town had grown to 60 buildings and a population of 200. In 1861, a flood washed away most of the wooden buildings, and the townsite was abandoned. Champoeg remained an important transportation link until another disastrous flood led to its total abandonment in 1892.

Humble Beginnings

Champoeg Park began as a single square "rod" of land— a fraction of an acre just large enough for a granite monument carved with the names of the men who voted. For many years, the park was only used one day a year, on May 2, when locals would travel by steamboat to celebrate that momentous vote.

Champoeg Today

The park expanded to 107 acres by 1929, when the automobile spurred an interest in recreation. By 2019, the park had expanded to 678 acres with 550,000 day visits and 89,000 overnight visits annually. The park continues to celebrate the 1843 vote during the annual Founders' Day .

 

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box Champoeg campground brochure and map mdi-file-pdf-box Champoeg historic sites

Photos & Video

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details. Campfire restrictions may be in place.