A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A springtime visit to Freeway Lakes

Written May 19th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Here’s the middle lake of Albany’s Freeway Lakes on Sunday afternoon, May 19, 2024.

This is a pretty good time of year to visit Freeway Lakes, the Linn County park located on both sides of Interstate 5 south of Albany.

The water level is good, and the seasonal infestation of water primrose has not yet progressed very far. In recent years that invasive plant pest has covered much of the water’s surface late in the season, at least on the eastern and middle lakes.

The primrose infestation was treated with a spray last September, and it seemed to be working to kill the plants.

If the lakes and their surroundings look in pretty good shape now, much of the credit goes to volunteers who have shown up at work parties to restore trails, trim vegetation and do other work for the last two or three years.

The volunteer effort has been organized by Albany resident Frank Frenzel, who started a Facebook group to promote the lakes and gather support. It’s called “Lets Restore Freeway Lakes,” and you can find it here.

On the group’s page I read that the next volunteer work party will be June 8. Here’s what Frenzel wrote about that:

“I would love to get the trail on the west side of the middle lake all chipped. Also cut some more trails down to the middle lake and install another picnic table. Also weed eating around the tables that are already there. I might do that this coming week. Party starts at 9:30-10:00 which ever works.”

As former borrow pits, the three Freeway Lakes are small, totaling only about 36 acres. But they’re the only decent-sized lakes near Albany where you can launch a canoe and paddle around, do some fishing, or just enjoy being on the water.

So, keeping the water clean and the grounds picked up is a worthwhile thing to do. (hh)


A solitary duck and, on the far shore, a lone figure complete the picture of middle Freeway Lake.

2 responses to “A springtime visit to Freeway Lakes”

  1. Liz Rapp says:

    Nice article. Thanks for informing about Freeway Lakes.

  2. Mel Brush says:

    As a teenager about 56 years ago, I almost drowned there. My friend Steve Scarborough saved me and took me to shore. Thank you Steve.


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