BOOK: Wild in the Willamette

In 2011, Oregon State University Press published the fantastic guide Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine: The Portland-Vancouver Region’s Network of Parks, Trails, and Natural Areas (which I reviewed here). Now, they have just published a guide for the region south of the Portland area:

Lorraine Anderson and Abby Phillips Metzger, eds., Wild in the Willamette: Exploring the Mid-Valley’s Parks, Trails, and Natural Areas (Oregon State University Press, 2015), 384 pp.

Publisher’s description 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.

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