Life in the North Santiam Canyon

North Santiam River-  The North Santiam River has a rich history of recreation, fishing, kayaking, and an excellent escape for "water-dogs" of all ages.  Beginning at Packsaddle Park, kayakers anxiously paddle through the challenges of the Line Hole, Spencer's Hole and over Mill City Falls. These locations require some experience to navigate. This river can be unpredictable and has several dangerous locations with serious undertow currents.   For a lighter-side float, try putting in at the Mill City Bridge,  Fisherman's Bend Campground or North Santiam State Park.  Life jackets are highly recommended.  

Gates Oregon – First settled in 1882, but not incorporated until 1950, the City of Gates straddles the North Santiam River in both Marion and Linn Counties.  

What to Do:
eNRG Kayaking
Packsaddle Park
Minto Park
Niagara Park
Rocky Top Hike
Big Cliff Dam
Detroit Dam

What to Eat: 
Sierra Mexican Restaurant & Sierra Market Deli
Canyon Espresso

Where to Stay: 
Oak Park Motel

Mill City Oregon - This timber town, once home to several lumber mills, including the Santiam Lumber Company and Hammond Lumber Company were among Its largest employers.  Currently, two operating mills remain; Frank Lumber Company and Freres Lumber Company. 

A little bit of History:   If we ain't got it, you don't need it was the motto of Stewart's Grocery Store, smartly located in the center of town close to the River.  It was not unusual to see several idling log trucks parked in front of the store throughout the day.  As you walked into the store one of the first things you would notice, besides Marie's welcoming smile, was the thousands of tiny holes deeply pressed into the scruffy fir floors as a result of countless years of cork boots walked across the planks. Charley could be found butchering meat or handing out a paycheck in ten dollar bills.  Charley and Marie generously helped thousands of locals when work was slow and times were lean.  One of my friends used to joke his family would be eating boiled tennis shoes for dinner if his Dad didn't get back to work soon.   In the late 80's the endangerment of the Spotted Owl and the subsequent controversy over breeding sites vs timber sale sites, brought Mill City to the forefront of the nation as the timber industry suffered. 

What to Do:
Hammond Park
Mill City Falls Park
Kimmel Park

Where to Eat:
Giovanni's Mountain Pizza

Poppa Al's
Mill City Grill
Rosie's Mountain Coffee House
Mountain Cafe - (closed due to Covid)
The Mill House - Coming in 2021
Trio Tavern

Where to Shop:
Mill City Marketplace
Rex Images
Santiam Sports Store
Dollar General
Kelly Lumber
US Bank

Where to Charge: 
Next to Mountain Cafe and the Mill City Laundromat
Mill City Falls Park

Where to Fuel:
Mill City Station

Where to Stay:
VRBO North Santiam Canyon

Where to Heal:
Santiam Medical Clinic

Lyons, Oregon- Approximately 22 miles East of Salem on North Santiam Highway 22, its a quick trip to reach the incredible North Fork Recreation Area.  Picnicking, hiking, biking, and swimming are just a few of the enjoyable activities available. 

What to Do: 
North Fork County Park
Bear Creek County Park
Three Pools Day Use Area
Shady Cove Campground
Opal Creek Wilderness
Elkhorn Golf Course

Where to Eat:
Gingerbread House
Dragon Chinese Kitchen
Your Country Kitchen 
Evelyn Joe's Farmhouse Cafe
Trexler's Farm
The Red Barn Tavern

Where to Shop:
Mehama Ace Hardware
The Corner Market
Lyons Market

Where to Fuel:
Pratum Co-op Energy

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