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Oregon State Parks

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Mt. Hood and the Gorge Region
Willamette Stone State Heritage Site
Western Meadow Lark ©
Western Meadow Lark
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Portland, Oregon   97210
(lat:45.5211 lon:-122.743) map location

Phone: 800-551-6949
Every bit of Oregon (and the United States, for that matter), is divided into a grid. At several places across the nation, the government established a land survey starting point (called a meridian) and drew the grid lines from there. What is the Willamette Stone? It's the starting point for all the land surveying west of the Cascade Mountains in both Oregon and Washington. It's the "zero point" for the Willamette Meridian.

After a short walk down a hill in the park, you can see, touch and read about this important marker.
History of the Area
Located in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, this significant site marks a historical surveying achievement. In 1851, John B Preston was appointed as the first Surveyor General of the Oregon Territory by President Millard Fillmore. His primary task was to establish an initial point for land surveys within that territory.

Preston selected a spot on top of one hill from where he could see both Mount Hood and Mount St Helens clearly - which is now known as Willamette Meridian Point or Initial Point. From here all public lands in Washington and Oregon were surveyed using two lines: The Willamette Base Line running east-west; and The Willamette Meridian line running north-south.

The original marker placed at this location has been replaced several times due to vandalism over years but it still remains an important landmark today with its own dedicated park area established around it since 1945 when local citizens donated surrounding property to preserve its significance.

In recognition of its importance not only locally but also nationally regarding land distribution across these states during westward expansion era following Louisiana Purchase agreement between US & France (1803), National Geodetic Survey designated this place as historic monument under name "Willamette Stone" back in 1988.

1. Willamette Stone Trail: This is a short, easy trail that leads to the historical marker of the initial point for land surveys in Oregon and Washington.

2. Wildwood Trail: A part of this 30-mile long hiking route passes through the park offering hikers an opportunity to explore lush green forests with diverse flora and fauna.

3. Macleay Park Lower Loop: Accessible from nearby Forest Park, it offers moderate difficulty level trails leading towards Balch Creek Canyon filled with old-growth trees.

4. Ridge Trail - Pittock Mansion Hike: Starting at lower Macleay Park, you can hike up via Wildwood trail into Willamette Stone State Heritage Site before reaching Pittock Mansion; provides stunning views over Portland cityscape on clear days.

5. Marquam Nature Park Trails - Council Crest Hike: Though not directly within but close by are these series of interconnected paths which lead uphill providing panoramic vistas including Mount Hood view along its course ending at highest point in Portland City- The Council Crest.

6. Leif Erikson Drive Firelane 1 Loop: Another accessible path from adjacent Forest park,this looped track takes one across scenic landscapes featuring wildflowers during spring season.

7. Holman Lane-Wild Cherry-Dog Wood Loop: An alternate looping pathway starting off Leif Erickson drive taking visitors deep inside forest cover showcasing variety wildlife species native to region.

8. Lower Saltzman Road To Maple And Birch Trails Route: Beginning near Highway 30,this moderately trafficked out-and-back route traverses alongside creek bed amidst dense woodland area eventually connecting back onto main road network.

9. Skyline Boulevard Pathway: Partly running parallel above heritage site boundary line,it's popular among cyclists & joggers alike due its relatively flat terrain coupled wide paved surface making it suitable all year round usage.

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Area Campgrounds
Portland Fairview RV Park
21401 NE Sandy Boulevard
Fairview, OR
RV Park of Portland
6645 SW Nyberg Lane
Tualatin, OR
Roamer's Rest RV Park LLC
17585 SW Pacific Highway
Tualatin, OR
Nearby Hotels

1. Start by heading south on I:5 S.
2. Take exit 292A to merge onto OR:217 N toward Tigard/Beaverton.
3. Continue on OR:217 N for about 6 miles and then take the exit onto US-26 W towards Beaverton/Sunset Hwy/Oregon Zoo.
4. Stay on US:26 W for approximately 8 miles until you see signs for NW Cornell Rd/Bethany Blvd/Cedar Hills Blvd/Golf Course Rd/Washington County Fairgrounds/Hillsboro Stadium.
5. Keep left at the fork and follow signs for Bethany Boulevard/NW Cedar Hills Boulevard/Tualatin Valley Highway/OR219S/Aloha/McMinnville/Newberg/Yamhill Wine Country/Rice Museum of Rocks & Minerals/The Allison Inn & Spa/Pacific University Forest Grove Campus/Linfield College McMinnville Campus/Dundee Bypass (OR18).
6. Continue straight onto NW Sunset Hwy/US:26 Westbound Frontage Road.
7. Turn right onto SW Tualatin Valley Highway/OR:10 Eastbound Frontage Road.
8. After driving around half a mile, turn left into your destination: The Willamette Stone State Heritage Site.

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Oregon State Parks