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Willamette Mission State Park

If you live in the Willamette Valley, you are probably familiar with the pleasures of riding at Willamette Mission State Park.  It’s a beautiful place with delightful trails.

If you’re not from the Willamette Valley, you may be interested to know that this state park has a very nice horse camp.  It’s easy to reach the park from I-5, and it’s an excellent place to stay overnight while traveling with your horses.

Willamette Mission State Park

The Riding

The riding at Willamette Mission is a favorite with locals.  Equestrians enjoy seven miles of easy, level trails that run through forests and meadows, past working farmland, and along the bank of the Willamette River.

Willamette Mission State Park

Willamette Mission is a fun spot for an after-work ride in summer or a leisurely weekend ride year-round.

Willamette Mission State Park

The Backstory

The park has a fascinating history.  It was the site of the Jason Lee mission, the first Methodist mission in Oregon.  While Lee wasn’t very successful in converting Indians to Christianity, his mission provided stability and leadership for white settlers.  Lee founded Willamette University and played an essential role in making Oregon part of the United States.

Willamette Mission State Park

The Camping

Since it's just a couple of miles off the I-5 freeway, Willamette Mission is a great place for travelers to stay overnight with their horses.  And it's a fun place to camp if you're looking for a couple of days of leisurely riding.  The camping area has four sites with log corrals for four horses each.  All sites are large enough for two vehicles, and two sites are pull-throughs.  All sites have picnic tables and fire rings.  The camp has a toilet, drinking water, manure bin, and garbage cans.  You can reserve a campsite at

The park also has a huge day-use area with toilets and parking for 100+ trailers.

Willamette Mission State Park

More Information  

The trails out of Willamette Mission State Park are covered in more detail in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails by Kim McCarrel, available at  

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