Wild in the Willamette
Lorraine Anderson and Abby Phillips Metzger
Maps by Monica Drost
Located between the population centers of Portland and Eugene, Oregon’s Willamette Valley boasts rich opportunities for outdoor recreation that are too often overlooked. Wild in the Willamette is a guidebook to the natural treasures of the mid-Willamette Valley, extending far beyond the familiar I-5 corridor. Sprinkled with natural history sidebars and infused with essays by notable local authors, it aims to connect residents and visitors with the best hiking, biking, and paddling opportunities the mid-Valley offers.
With a special focus on seven watersheds—the Marys, Calapooia, South Santiam, North Santiam, Luckiamute, Yamhill, and Pudding—as well as the middle portion of the main stem Willamette River, the book describes a range of outings at different levels of challenge. Families with young children, day hikers, long-distance backpackers, kayakers, canoeists, bird watchers, and cyclists alike will find ideas for spending a satisfying afternoon or venturing outside for a multiday trip.
Whether choosing a wheelchair-accessible trail, a rugged hike in a wilderness area, a dip in a rocky swimming hole, a paddle on the broad Willamette, or a bike ride through farmland—whether lifetime residents or week-long visitors—outdoor enthusiasts will benefit from detailed notes on the history and ecology of this special place. Armchair travelers will also find reward in the book’s literary and natural history offerings.
Generously illustrated with maps and keys to the area’s many attractions, Wild in the Willamette, a companion volume to the Portland-Vancouver region’s Wild in the City, is an essential guide to the natural wonders of Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley.
About the author
Lorraine Anderson, a freelance writer and editor with a special interest in connecting people with nature, has lived in the Willamette Valley since 2005. She edited Sisters of the Earth: Women’s Prose and Poetry about Nature and Earth and Eros: A Celebration in Words and Photographs; co-edited Literature and the Environment: A Reader on Nature and Culture and At Home on This Earth: Two Centuries of U.S. Women’s Nature Writing; and co-authored Cooking with Sunshine.
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Abby Phillips Metzger is a writer, paddler, and dog lover. She grew up near the Willamette River in Corvallis, and still lives here. She earned her Honors English degree and master’s in environmental science from Oregon State University. In addition to her current job as a writer and research communicator at OSU, she has worked in journalism, book publishing, and environmental education. She worked as an outreach coordinator for Honoring Our Rivers, a student anthology of art and literature celebrating Oregon watersheds. She also facilitates nature interpretation for children and adults during raft trips down the Willamette. Meander Scars is her first book.
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"You can never have too many travel guides, and this is one you don't want to miss." -- Amy Schneider, Eugene Weekly
"To get down and dirty with the local trails, rivers, and watersheds, you'd be wise to pick up Wild in the Willamette. Wild in the Willamette is a brilliant mix of guidebook and literary essays." -- Abbie Tumbleson, Corvallis Advocate