Canoe Canal: A quiet water wonderland In The heart of the city

Canoe Canal, Whilamut Natural Area, Alton Baker Park, Eugene, Oregon

Walking and paddling through nature… just minutes from downtown Eugene


… Alton Baker Park’s Canoe Canal is home to beautiful walking trails and serene paddling spots.
… When we treat where we live the same as where we travel, we open our eyes, minds, and hearts to new adventures.
… To experience and appreciate home in a new way.


… Ourselves more aware of travel opportunities that are minutes from our own front door.
… Iconic family photos.
… Big smiles from a birthday boy dad!
… Plans to bring our inflatable kayaks next time.

For Anthony’s December birthday, he said he wanted to take a family walk. We didn’t want to travel far, but we wanted to find something new. And, right in the heart of our own city, we did.

Eugene’s Canoe Canal is part of the Whilamut Natural Area in Alton Baker Park. Just outside downtown Eugene, and minutes from our own front door, we walked on groomed trails amid winter-bare trees, by ponds and streams full of ducks (all the more apt, since nearby was Eugene’s Autzen Stadium, home of the Oregon Ducks!).

In addition to walking, jogging, and cycling, Canoe Canal is also a great place to have a low-stress paddle in a canoe or kayak. In fact, we plan on getting out here in the spring for one of our first paddles with our own inflatable tandem kayaks!

Our Canoe Canal adventure

Winter can be a challenging time to get outside, but that makes it all the more worthwhile.

Discovering this hidden gem in our own city also reminded us that when it comes to travel, sometimes the best destination is your own backyard. When we treat where we live with the same open-mindedness and spirit of adventure that we pack on our trips, we learn new things about our own city, and we build beautiful memories of a special time together.

To see more of our wintertime adventure, check out our Canoe Canal video!

Family travel video

Fun Fact: Canoe Canal is also where we took this family photo!…

… And one of our favorite, “most Connor” photos ever!

Go to Canoe Canal and the Whilamut Natural Area in Eugene, Oregon’s Alton Baker Park

What if we treated home like a travel destination?

Havens. Hidden gems. Surprises in the heart of a city. Tell us about some of yours!

About the author
Learners and Makers
We are the St. Clair Family: Anthony, Jodie, Connor, and Aster. As Learners and Makers, our family of four slows down, connects, and enjoys the world and each other's company. We have been traveling full time since 2022.

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