The Land Trust is pleased to announce that new Santiam Wagon Road interpretive signs have been installed at Whychus Canyon Preserve.
Visitors can now walk from the Preserve kiosk along the historic Wagon Road and learn all about the road from six new interpretive signs. Each colorful sign tells the story of the Wagon Road east of the Cascades: its route, re-discovery, use, and place in history. Photos from the era help round out the story.
The Santiam Wagon Road served as a livestock trail and the only freight route over the middle section of the Oregon Cascades for most of the 74 years (1865-1939) it was in use. It spanned a distance of almost 400 miles on today’s roads and provided passage for around 5000 wagons during the first 15 years of its existence. Learn more about the Wagon Road.
Remnants of the Santiam Wagon Road can be seen at the Land Trust's Whychus Canyon Preserve. Historic Wagon Road stopping points can also be seen at Land Trust owned Indian Ford Meadow Preserve and Camp Polk Meadow Preserve. Join the Land Trust for a free guided Wagon Road walk.
Read our press release on the signs.
A thousand thanks to Carol Wall for her time and energy to research the Santiam Wagon Road and its connection to Deschutes Land Trust Preserves. Carol, you are the best!
Many thanks to Steve Lent at the Bowman Museum for his time reviewing these materials and for donating historical photos. Thanks as well to the Oregon Historical Society for help with historical photos and to the Bureau of Land Management for support of this project. Mulch Design provided fabulous design work.
Finally, this project would not have been possible without the support of the Oregon Community Foundation's Oregon Historic Trails Fund. Thank you!