- Erratic Rock State Natural Site
park= Erratic Rock State Natural Site
caption=Erratic rock with Yamhill Valley in background
Yamhill County, Oregon, United States
Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department
status=day use only
Erratic Rock State Natural Site is a
state parkin the Willamette Valleyof Oregon, United States. Featuring a convert|40|ST|0|adj=on glacial erraticfrom the Missoula floods, the small park sits atop a foothill of the Northern Oregon Coast Rangein Yamhill County between Sheridan and McMinnville off Oregon Route 18. The day use only park is owned and maintained by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Missoula floodsbegan in western Montanafifteen to twenty-thousand years ago.Hill, Richard L. Project takes on story of region’s ice-age cataclysms; Four states and others are weighing the best way to explain floods that scoured the Columbia River Gorge and beyond. " The Oregonian", November 29 2000.] These large floods altered the landscape of the Columbia River valley and flooded the Willamette Valley. Many rocks were transported down the Columbia encased in icebergsand deposited from Montana through Idaho, Washington, and Oregon when the flood waters receded and the ice melted.
One of these convert|40|ST|0|adj=on erratics was deposited on a convert|250|ft|0|adj=on tall hill in the
Yamhill Valleyportion of the Willamette Valley.Gault, Roy Gault. Ice-age wonder sits about an hour from Salem. " Statesman Journal", July 1 2003.] Purchased from the Duerst and Ramsby families in 1956, the park was originally named the Erratic Rock Wayside.Armstrong, Chester H. "Oregon State Parks: History, 1917-1963". [Salem, Or.] : Oregon State Highway Dept, 1965. p. 125-126.] In 1996, the park was one of the state parks selected for closure due to budget problems. [Green, Ashbel S. State may fold tent on some parks. " The Oregonian", June 6 1996.] The Oregon Legislative Assemblycame-up with funding to avoid the closure.
Located off Oregon 18, Erratic Rock State Natural Site lies mid-way between Sheridan to the west and McMinnville to the east.Haight, Abby. White water, wild winds: The recreation is exceptional. "
The Oregonian", September 30 2007.] Geologically, the rock comes from Canadaand is the largest glacial erratic rock in the Willamette Valley.Jones, Melissa L. Oregon’s weird roadside attractions. " The Oregonian", August 3 2003.] The rock is argillitebelieved to be 600,000 million years old and originally part of the sea-floor.Bishop, Ellen Morris. "Hiking Oregon's Geology". Seattle, WA: Mountaineers Books, 2004. pp. 100-101.] It is also the only rock of its type outside of Canada. [Oshiro, Gwenda Richards. Road Trip: Sheridan – more than a federal pen. " The Oregonian", June 12 2005.]
In addition to the boulder, the hilltop features views of the
Oregon Coast Rangeand the valley, including vineyards and farms. [Church, Foster. Oregon offtrack: The real northwest valley gems: monastery and museum. " The Oregonian", June 20 2004.] There is a convert|.2|mi|m|&adj=on hike along a paved trail to the top of the hill past a vineyard and orchard that provides bird watching opportunities.Erratic Rock State Natural Site unique to the United States. " Statesman Journal", September 10 2002.] Operated by the state parks department, the park is a day use only facility that includes an interpretive sign and picnic table at the convert|4.4|acre|0 park.
List of Oregon state parks
* [http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_135.php Oregon State Parks Department: Erratic Rock]
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