Located at the end of the Oregon Trail, this state park memorializes the first Mission established here in 1834 by the Methodist Reverend Jason Lee. The Reverend’s mission was unsuccessful, but the Methodists were a prominent voice in Oregon’s political arena. The park features a monument dedicated to Jason Lee, an operating car ferry landing (still in use since its establishment in 1844 when it floated covered wagons across the Willamette River), and ample recreational opportunities. Of natural interest is an ancient black cottonwood tree (older than 250 years) growing in the park that is alleged to be the largest in the world at 155 feet high.
Willamette Mission State Park is located off Wheatland Road, 8 miles north of Salem.
The Cape Blanco Lighthouse is distinguished as the state’s oldest continuously operating lighthouse, the highest above sea level, and the westernmost of Oregon’s lighthouses. Completed in 1870, the lighthouse sits atop the precipitous, chalky cliffs of the same name (the Spanish explorer Martin d’Anguilar named this promontory in 1603). The height of the light atop the 59-foot conical tower combined with the cliff height give it a focal plane of 245 feet above mean sea level — its beacon can be seen from 22 miles out to sea. The lighthouse was automated in 1980, and today it is managed by The Bureau of Land Management. Visitors are welcome to tour the lighthouse, grounds, and tower. The visitor center museum has local history exhibits.
Location Information and Directions
Links: Cape Blanco Lighthouse