Niagara County Park marks the location of the former town of Niagara, founded in 1890 and lasting for around 45 years. The plan was to build a dam on the North Santiam River, but nature had other ideas, and construction was abandoned in 1912.
A short walk from the parking lot leads to the remains of the dam as well as a view of Sevenmile Creek Falls, which slides into the river on the opposite shore. We visited in June of an especially dry year, and the waterfall was not really worth the visit. We did enjoy exploring the remains of the dam, and although we didn’t take the time to hike the Powder House Trail, it sounds like a worthwhile adventure.
My rating: Low Priority (1 star) (Waterfall – 1 star, Trail – n/a, Experience – 2 stars)
Distance from Beaverton: About an hour and a half southeast
Nearest town: Gates
Nearest city: Salem
County: The waterfall is in Linn County, but the park is in Marion County.
Length of round-trip hike: The viewpoint is a very short distance from the parking lot. The Powder House Trail is 1 mile.
Best season to visit: The park is open May-October.
Things to know: Swimming is allowed at the east end of the trail, but not at the west end near the parking lot.
Consider combining this trip with: Any trip that takes you on Highway 22.
Toilet / Amenities: Toilets, picnic table.
How to get there:
- From I-5 in Salem, take Highway 22 east for 36 miles. The park is on the right side of the road.