In the late 1890's, construction started on a masonry dam at the town of Niagara. The goal was to develop power for a mill designed to make paper from straw. Construction of the dam was abandoned in 1912 after $100,000 had been spent. About this time, large numbers of Chinese workers were brought in to work on a rail line that was to be constructed over the Santiam Pass. This led to the belief that Chinese workers built the dam, resulting in misinformation that has kept the China Dam legend alive. This attractive and historic site was the first park developed and dedicated by the Marion County Park and Recreation Commission. Niagara Park attracts more travelers than any other Marion County park because of its history, natural scenic beauty, and convenient location.
Thirty-four acres of the park are owned by the State of Oregon and used for park purposes via a 1961 Land Use Permit.
Wildfire Recovery Efforts
The long-term goal for Marion County Parks is to redevelop in a way that anticipates how the public will recreate in the future, while also building climate and environmentally resilient parks that future generations can enjoy.
Parks has been presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to start fresh and forge a new vision for recreation in the Santiam Canyon. This vision will provide diverse recreational opportunities and create a sustainable parks program that benefits the region and visitors.
You can explore the current recovery plan now.
Santiam Canyon Parks Recovery Plan
Facilities at a Glance
NIAGARA PARK IS CLOSED DUE TO WILD-FIRE DAMAGE
- Open Year-Round
- 28.7 Acres
- Picnic Tables
- Comfort Stations
- Hiking Trails
- Historical Site
- ADA Accessible:
Restroom, drinking fountain and picnic table
- Day Use Only
Smoking and alcohol are prohibited at all county parks (see
Marion County Code).
8:00 a.m. to Sunset
Forty miles from Salem on Santiam Highway, seven miles east of Mill City.
For More Information Contact:
5155 Silverton Rd.
Salem, OR 97305
Phone: (503) 588-5036
Niagara County Park
35970 N. Santiam Hwy SE, Gates, OR 97346