Why You Should Visit
Located in the Willamette River just upstream from West Linn, Little Rock Island hosts a diversity of plant communities including one of Oregon's rarest, the white rock larkspur. Small channels separate segments of the island, which is forested on the north but open and rocky on the south. The multitude of habitats on the island support equally diverse bird populations.
On the Willamette River, upstream from West Linn, in Northwest Oregon
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The 12-acre preserve includes the island, a gift from James River Corporation. Twenty acres on the west riverbank are cooperatively managed by the Conservancy with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Metro Parks and Greenspaces Program.
Ecologists are monitoring the populations of white rock larkspur, while volunteers are employed to eradicate invasive Scots broom and Himalayan blackberry.
What to See: Plants
While the preserve's "star plant" is undoubtedly the rare white rock larkspur, other vegetation includes beautiful madrone and plants more typically found in arid environments, such as desert parsleys.
What to See: Animals
While visiting the preserve, keep your eyes and ears alert for osprey and various songbirds.
The island and adjacent shoreline are for day use only. Please watch for poison oak.
Please observe the following guidelines while hiking:
- Stay on the shorelines and trail. Don't collect plants, insects or other species or disturb soil, rocks, artifacts or scientific research markers.
- No dogs. Preserves harbor ground-nesting birds and other wildlife that are extremely sensitive to disturbance.
- No bicycles or motorized vehicles. Native plants and research sites are easily trampled.
- No hunting, camping or campfires.
- For groups of 10 or more, please contact us before visiting a preserve (a volunteer naturalist guide may be available).
- Please bring a bag and carry out any trash you find.
- Please report to us any problems you observe (e.g., camping, plant removal, hunting, off-road vehicle damage, etc).
The preserve is reachable only by watercraft. The city of West Linn's Willamette Falls Park has boat launch facilities.
- Follow the western shoreline south for approximately .75 mile.
- The island is separated from the shoreline by a narrow channel. The best landing spot for motor boats is on the southeast corner of the main island.
- Kayaks or canoes can land at several spots along the shoreline.