This fine state park has a tremendous amount of acreage at the confluence of the Molalla and Willamette rivers. Just upstream of the boat ramp where the GPS coordinates were taken is the confluence area. During the flood of 1996 and again in 2005-2006 the area around the confluence was inundated, with massive wood debris jams being carried downstream and deposited within the park. Although the entire park didn’t flood, a significant portion was covered with the brown, swirling water.

Located in Canby, the park provides boat access via a small, old boat ramp, and there are picnic tables, restrooms, and running water. The park’s main attraction is the lowland cottonwood forest and open meadow areas, with their associated bird species, such as pileated woodpecker.

Comments

  1. At this park you need to call ahead for permission to camp in the main park section, or you can camp at the Confluence of the Molalla River and the Willamette River on the gravel bar. 503-678-1251 – Main number for Champoeg State Heritage area who manages Molalla River State Park.

  2. We camped in the main park area and were very happy. It is designated as a day use park so is quiet at night…you’ll have the place to yourself. Lots of grass area to throw tents; multiple picnic tables; restroom and water spigot. You need to contact the Park Ranger 503-678-1251 x230 to make arrangements. At this writing, it was Ryan Sparks, ryan.sparks@state.or.us. Molalla has easy access with boat launch and bank to land your kayak/canoe; short walk up to the camping area.

  3. The confluence of the Molalla and Willamette is about a mile upstream from the boat ramp, not just upstream. The lowlands which you must hike through to get to the confluence below the large fields in the park flood each year, though as the article mentions, some years are worse than others. You actually cross the old Molalla channel (very old, there’s an old model T in a pile of dead trees) to get there.

  4. Put in here on a hot August afternoon to enjoy a paddle up and down, and to work on our kayak wet exits and self-rescues, but the motorized traffic on the river was overwhelming with too much noise and crashing of wakes. If you are looking for quiet, avoid this spot on a hot summer weekend, or plan your visit early or late.

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