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The Willamette River Field Guide

By Travis Williams

[A] comprehensive travel guide, natural history, and political action manual wrapped into one book.


The Willamette River flows for nearly 200 miles, through deep forests, green valleys, and past cities — Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis, Albany, Salem, Keizer, Newberg, Oregon City, and Portland. Yet it is a river hiding in plain sight: until now, there has been no comprehensive guide to the Willamette. Following the river downstream from its tributaries through its vast valleys and to the tidal flats beyond Portland, The Willamette River Field Guide is the story of Oregon's earliest inhabitants, the connection between the river and the towns along its banks, the wildlife it supports, and the effects of alterations to its geography and ecology. Includes tips for more than a dozen riverside visits and trips. Twelve maps cover each segment of the river. Beautiful new color photographs and rare historical photos help tell the story.Travis Williams knows the river intimately and cares about it passionately. Whether you take in the views from land or water, or just dip into this fascinating guide from home, after reading this book you will know the Willamette River as you never have before.

Media reviews

"For those who have only seen the Willamette River as a polluted, dirty waterway, Williams' account will have them searching for the secluded stretches graced with white egrets, great blue herons, and swallows."

—Beth Casper, Salem Statesman Journal

"Impressive for its mix of history, bird, fish, and wildlife information; its suggested paddle trips and parks; and the beautiful photography."

—Elizabeth Ussher Groff, (Sellwood) Bee

"The river that defines the state in so many ways has its first comprehensive travel guide, natural history, and political action manual wrapped into one book."


"An indispensable reference for would-be explorers."

—Ben Waterhouse, Willamette Week

About the author

Travis Williams

Travis Williams is executive director of Willamette Riverkeeper, a nonprofit river advocacy organization focusing on habitat restoration and clean water. He holds an M.S. in Environmental Science from The Johns Hopkins University. A fifth-generation Oregonian who grew up in Milwaukie, Oregon, he has two daughters who canoe with him often.

Read more about Travis Williams

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