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Avery Park Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Georgia Pacific locomotive and black walnut tree, Avery Park (bobcat)
On the Wildflower Trail, Avery Park (bobcat)
Poison larkspur (Delphinium trollifolium), Avery Park (bobcat)
The loop around Avery Park, Corvallis (bobcat)
  • Start point: Avery Park TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Lions Kitchen
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 1.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 30 feet
  • High Point: 225 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Description

Avery Park, located in a bend of the Marys River, is a leafy haven with many of the usual park amenities although the petting zoo, which included a non-petting bear pit, was closed many years ago. In addition, however, there's a formal rose garden and a trail that leads through native woods above the river: in the spring, forest wildflowers, including poison larkspur, cow parsnip, fringe-cup, sweet cicely, wild rose and woods violet, bloom here in profusion. This park has everything for a family with young children, but others should consider stopping by for a picnic and a slow amble. The area was first the property of J.C. Avery, the founding father of Corvallis, and later the woods here became the venue for outdoor forestry classes before the area was converted to a city park.

Cross the street from the parking lot and walk through the Corvallis Rose Garden toward an avenue of sequoias. Pass millstones brought in from Kings Valley and walk out to the road bridge for a view of the Marys River. Thick vegetation, primarily big-leaf maple, Oregon ash, willow, and red osier dogwood, cloaks the river banks. Take a muddy trail just before the bridge to walk anti-clockwise around the park. This is the beginning of the Wildflower Trail.

The trail heads parallel to the river banks on a wide meander of the Marys River. It is densely shaded by maples, ash, and Douglas-firs. Pass the parking area for the Maple Grove Picnic Area. In spring, the cow parsnip is blooming and so are fringe-cup and tall poison larkspur. Cedars, oaks, and grand firs complete the canopy. At a T-junction, a spur leads right down to the river and a stone platform that used to be the site of a canoe rental operation. These days, it’s a summer sunning spot and swimming hole. Continue around to reach the maintenance yard at the end of the Wildflower Trail.

Walk past the district parks offices, open weekdays, and up a road. To the left are a playground, restrooms and a soggy, grassy expanse with a line of oaks. Pass a house on the right and pick up a trail leading into the woods where the road begins to rise past blooming rhododendrons. You can see the horseshoe pits to the left. Part of the trail is lined by a fence here and there are steep, slippery spurs leading down to the river. Drop down steps and up out of a shallow, muddy gully. The trail turns sharply left at the park boundary and heads along a hedgerow that serves as a backdrop to camas lilies in the spring. The horseshoe pits are to the left and you soon enter a grassy field with a Community Garden sign although there’s no community garden in sight. Reach a paved road and cross it to walk across an oak-shaded lawn. To the right are the Lions Kitchen Picnic Shelter, with its huge table crafted from a single slab of 600-year-old Douglas-fir, and the Avery House Nature Center. Down to the left, you can see the dinosaur bones play structure. Walk towards a Georgia Pacific locomotive, driven here for display on tracks specially laid down in 1960, near a huge spreading black walnut tree. From here, head straight out to the road, where you can pick up a sidewalk and head left back to the parking area. There’s a kiosk here which explains the Applegate Trail and early settler history.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fee
  • Dogs on leash
  • Interpretive sign
  • Restrooms, picnic area, children's play area, swimming hole

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Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.