Willamette Falls

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Mt. Talbert Nature Park

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Maddox Woods Park

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Mary S. Young City Park

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Luscher Farms, Cooks Butte, Stevens Meadows

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Camassia Preserve

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Seasons

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Location

The falls are a partial barrier and hazard to fish migration (both directions) and consequently attracts piscivorous birds throughout the year. Aerial insectivores concentrate to forage over the turbulent water below the falls in season. Migrating Purple Martins and Black Swifts have been seen here. Sea lions are a possibility. The overlook is between downtown Oregon City and the Canemah District right off 99E (.6 miles south of the Hwy 43 bridge). From either direction on I-205, take Exit 9 (“Downtown Oregon City”), turn left onto Hwy 99E for 1.1 miles, look for the entrance to the overlook parking area on the right about a block short of the 2nd St traffic lights on the crest of the hill. Very safe parking and hard standing for scope (advisable), a waist high rock parapet guards against thoughtless approach to the vertical cliff on the other side. Panoramic view of the entire falls. Nice sign with historical information. Access is limited to southbound traffic, but it is an easy stop to make in that direction if one is going from West Linn’s Camassia Natural Area to Molalla River State Park. Another viewpoint can be accessed from I-205 northbound. There is a pulloff and parking area about 7 miles from I-5 (45.351799, -122.626279). Viewing is more restricted here.

About Willamette Falls

Directions

Habitat and Birds

The falls are especially worth visiting in order to see gulls and waterfowl, although visiting several nearby sites along the Willamette River can add to a nice species list. Likely birds include Canada Goose and Mallard, Glaucous-winged, California and possibly Herring, Western or Iceland Gulls, nesting Osprey in spring and summer, Red-tailed Hawk and Turkey Vulture, , Great Blue and occasional Green Herons,  Killdeer and Spotted Sandpiper, Vaux’s Swift (spring through fall — there is a migration roost nearby in Oregon City), and several swallow species. Black Swift has been reported in migration.

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