A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Bowers Rock: Time for a look and an update

Written June 2nd, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Once you’re past the gate, you’re greeted by the familiar sign, which looks the same as last fall.

With time to spare on Tuesday afternoon, I turned off my favorite bike route to go down the private road that gives access to Bowers Rock State Park. There was no particular reason except that I had not been there since last November.

Here’s the video report:

I wish I could report that there’s been progress in my quest to have state parks, or somebody, make this state park more accessible to the public. But so far, there’s no word on that particular point.

Last year, the state parks department, the Calapooia Watershed Council and others completed a $1.2 million project to restore flood channels and other features in the 568-acre tract. They also improved the internal roads, or pathways.

The land lies on a bend in the Willamette River a couple of miles west of Albany. The state acquired it in the 1970s as part of the Willamette Greenway initiative during the McCall administration. Part of the acreage had been a gravel mine, and other parts are under water during wet winters.

In November, District Manager Sarah Steele of  the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation told me her agency would turn to the public access issue next. She mentioned signage and adequate parking.

She said at the time she had been in contact with Linn County and neighbors of the park, and she sounded hopeful that work on these issues would start this year.

I reached out to Steele about a progress report, and I’ll report it when it comes. (hh)

5 responses to “Bowers Rock: Time for a look and an update”

  1. Craig says:

    Great place for a Mountain Bike or gravel bike. If enough bikers started going we could make trails, but the grass is growing fast and it’s hard to see the ground back there.

    • Al Nyman says:

      When the state purchased the property it had gravel roads all over it as 5th Avenue Sand and Gravel mined rock out of it for years. I guess the state didn’t want anybody to use the property so they let the roads disappear under grass.


    Thanks for this post. I was stunned to learn about this park that nobody can get to and look forward to your updates. Doesn’t even really look like it’s that accessible by bike.

    • Tom Cutsforth says:

      Thank you, Ann. What a fascinating history of the Bowers Rock area. I highlighted the URL and the next time I looked up, an hour had past.

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