Scenic USA - Oregon

McDowell Creek Falls Park

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Majestic Falls - McDowell Creek Falls Park, Linn County, Oregon

Photos by Denny Barnes
Denny Barnes Photography

     Linn County, centered in Oregon's 150 mile long Willamette Valley, makes up a large portion of the state's economy with agriculture and timber Crystal Falls - McDowell Creek Falls Park, Lebanon, Oregon industries. Beginning in the 1840s, when the Oregon Trail was widened enough for a wagon to pass, thousands of settlers rushed westward to this fertile valley. Today the Willamette Valley is the population center of the state where more than 70 percent of Oregonians live. The valley's waterways, still responsible for depositing the valley's fertile soil, create many of the area's popular recreation sites.
     Linn County is also big on recreation, with many parks Royal Terrace Falls - McDowell Creek Falls Park, Lebanon, Oregon providing access points for boating, camping and hiking. For waterfall fans, the county's McDowell Creek Falls Park offers loads of entertainment. A family oriented park, McDowell Park is nestled in the McDowell Creek and Falls Creek canyons where two major falls attract the most attention. Named for an early settler James McDowell, the wooded park is covered in a forest of big-leaf maple, Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and western red-cedar shade the picnic areas and hiking paths. Pathways, stairs and bridges allow park visitors to walk the entire park, exploring all the features in a loop hike. The round trip is less than two miles, and makes it a great place for kids to enjoy the outdoors.
     Majestic Falls and Royal Boardwalk and Stairs - McDowell Creek Falls Park, Lebanon, OregonTerrace Falls are the two major falls, and it's easy to tell how Royal Terrace received its name. Smaller cascades, such as Crystal Falls and Lower McDowell Falls, keep park guests within an earshot of the sounds of roaring water. Three parking lots, spaced out along McDowell Creek Road, make it easy for the folks that can't get around as easy as they wish. The lots are adjacent to the Lower McDowell Falls, a picnic area and Majestic Falls. This a great park for a day trip in the Cascade foothills, but as the end of summer approaches, the water flow begins to slow. So it's best for waterfall fans to arrive during the rainy season. Despite the beautiful array of waterfalls and pleasant tree-lined pathways, McDowell Creek Falls Park remains as one of Linn County's untrampled treasures.

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