To inspire residents and government staff to appreciate and protect the waterways and wetlands of Corvallis by leading them on guided interpretive tours of these sites and familiarizing them with the benefits these water resources provide us all.
Creeks We Tour
We have provided public and private guided interpretive Corvallis urban creek tours since 2008. Following are creeks where we have led tours, descriptions of their locations and links to further information on the individual creeks. Scroll down for information about participating in a tour.
Dixon Creek – Located in the northwest and north central portions of Corvallis, draining f from Dimple Hill, Timber Hill, Chip Ross Park and Witham Hill through Corvallis High School land and adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Willamette River just north of Downtown Corvallis. More information:
Dunawi Creek – Located in southwestern Corvallis, both north and south branches Dunawi Creek drain from Bald Hill. The two branches join in the woods between Ashbrook and Adams schools and then flow into the Marys River across from Avery Park. More information:
- Dunawi Creek Regeneration Project: A Gift for the Dunawi Creek Regeneration Site at the Bald Hill Natural Area
Jackson Creek – Located in the far northern portion of Corvallis, Jackson Creek drains from Dimple Hill through Crescent Valley and into the Jackson-Frazier Wetland.
Lamprey Creek – Located in Northwest Corvallis, Lamprey Creek drains from Dimple Hill, Skyline Ridge and Witham Hill, through Dr. MLK, Jr. Park and OSU agricultural land and into Oak Creek by Harrison Avenue and Walnut Blvd. More information:
Mill Race – Located in South Corvallis, the Mill Race drains from the former Marysville Golf Course. It flows northeast, under 99W and Hollingsworth and Vos and then into the Marys River by the BMX park. More information:
Oak Creek – Located in the northwestern portion of Corvallis, Oak Creek drains from the McDonald Forest through OSU Agricultural land and the OSU Campus and then into the Marys River across from Avery Park. More information:
- Oak Creek in Corvallis – Journey of an Ancient Stream
- Oak Creek Tour Brochure
- Oak Creek 2014 Tour Brochure
- Discovering Oak Creek by Bike
Sequoia Creek – Located in north central and eastern Corvallis, Sequoia Creek drains from Chip Ross Park and Hospital Hill through residential and commercial properties across 9th Street and 99W into Stewart Slough by Route 20. It ultimately flows into the Willamette River just upriver from Hyak Park in Albany.
Lost Creeks of Corvallis – When Euro-Americans colonized this Kalapuya land, streams changed quickly and radically. Beavers were eradicated, prairies turned into tilled soil, stream corridors were deepened into drainage trenches and the hydrological forces continued to change to this day. More radical hydrological changes developed with paved roads, more buildings, more intense agriculture and storm drain systems. Today’s creeks are unrecognizable from what they were in 1920 and in no way function like they did in 1820. The first reliable creek maps date from 1921. These maps show that there are many fewer creeks now than in 1921. The lost creeks have been filled in, paved over, piped for drainage or pumped from building basements. Our Lost Creek tours follow some of these lost creeks in Corvallis and look at the buildings, pavement and lawns that now cover the lost creeks. It is a tour about what is no longer here but may return if our cultural practices change.
Opportunities for Creek Tours
Private, small-group tours are provided upon request for those who are interested in helping to improve the health of our urban creeks and wetlands.
Sponsors: We have co-sponsored creek tours with the following organizations:
- Benton Soil and Water Conservation District
- City of Corvallis
- Marys Peak Group Sierra Club
- Marys River Watershed Council
Registration: Groups may register for these free tours by email and receive directions to the meeting site. To make arrangements for such tours, please contact the Water Action Team leader.
Tour types: Participants have a choice of four tour types. Each type has its own personality, opportunities and challenges.
- Biking Tours – We bike from a designated upstream site and pedal downstream on adjoining roads and trails toward the creek confluence with a river or larger creek. We stop at many creekside locations to discuss pertinent issues and view special features. Participants provide their own bikes and helmets.
- Hiking Tours – We hike along designated creek segments of interest to the participants. Such hikes could include a hike to the source or hike to the mouth or hike along any place in between.
- Motor Vehicle Tours – We ride among selected creekside sites with interpretation at each site. Participants provide their own transportation.
2022 Work Plan
- Project-based, Small Group Tours – Plan special small group tours for:
- Water Action Team members and for small groups committed to improving the health of our urban creeks
- Groups involved with projects or issues related to specific Corvallis creeks or wetlands
- Video/webinar Tours – Initiate interpreted webinar tours of individual Corvallis creeks and host the webinars on this Coalition website.