The Camp Creek Road area and its many offshoots are unique and beautiful places to live in Lane County, Oregon. Hobby farms, country properties, and long-driveway out-of-sight houses are all present. Housing options range from country estates to humble dwellings with just enough land for a horse or two. I can’t think of another area that feels like Camp Creek, which is its own little pretty and serene enclave. And, while it’s many things country, it’s anything but the city.
The Camp Creek area is especially popular with retirees and commuters, since there are very few jobs or employers to speak of along Camp Creek. The entire road is only 8.5 miles, so it’s a quick trip to either Highway 126 at Walterville, where Camp Creek Road ends to the southeast, or Marcola Road, where it ends to the northwest. So, it’s about 10 or 15 minutes to Springfield, which is close-in country, by my definition. But definitely country–horses and cows are numerous and small farms are plentiful.
Camp Creek is one of the few small roads that span between two areas: The Mohawk Valley and the McKenzie Valley. At the Marcola Road end, Camp Creek Road is in the Mohawk valley and it has that feel to it. After a couple of miles, though, it changes to McKenzie valley, both by definition and in feel. Camp Creek Road hugs the base of the Camp Creek Hills, running between them and the McKenzie River. With a setting like that, it makes for a beautiful place to live.
The settled area of Camp Creek encompasses perhaps 5,000 acres, depending on which areas you include. Much of the property with dwellings on it is the low lying flat areas, occupying ancient flood plains. These areas are popular for farming and grazing, which is a trend that started in the mid-1800s when settlement by European-heritage people began. The Camp Creek Hills, per se, are generally in the 1000′-2000′ range and make good tree growing property, which is how they are most frequently used.
Property sizes range from under an acre to over 140 acres, when bare timber properties are excluded. Parcels that are 3-4 acres are especially common. Around 4 acres is a nice size for a hobby farm because when parcels get too large they tend to own you, which is to say they take a lot of time to maintain. Property values, according to the County, range from 12K to over 1.3 Mm, so there’s a huge range. Average house and lot value is around 250K, or $133/s.f., according to the County. There is a very large range in house sizes from about 400 s.f. to over 7,000 s.f., with average size being a little under 2,000 s.f.
There are more waterfront properties in the Camp Creek area than typical. Camp Creek Road follows the McKenzie River for several miles, affording some properties beautiful views. Nearby, is also EWEB’s Walterville diversion canal, which also provides waterfront properties. There is also Camp Creek and numerous other creeks that provide for housing options on or near the water.
Sales data from RMLS, over the last 24 months, reveal 13 actives, 2 pendings and 19 solds; information was current at the time of this posting. Prices ranged from about 27K to 850K. Approximate average values for the Camp Creek area are as follows:
- List Price: 275K
- Closing Price: 256K
- Total House Size (s.f.): 1,680
- Days on Market: 151
- Year Built: 1974
- Price per size $/s.f.: $123
Zoning designations common in the Camp Creek Road area are: RR, F2 and EFU. The area is not within any UGB designation, so land development and building permits are controlled by Lane County. The Camp Creek Road area is in the Springfield School District, and schools are Walterville, Briggs, and Thurston. Camp Creek Elementary School closed in 2011 after being opened over 60 years ago. Some of the Camp Creek Road area is within the 100 year flood plain so flood insurance may be necessary.
When houses were built in the Camp Creek area is interesting. The oldest house dates to 1900, according to County records. From 1900 to 1949 a total of only 76 houses were built. Poor roads, world wars, the Great Depression, and a lack of relative prosperity explain the low building rate. Building increased in the 1950s and 1960s, and 127 homes were built. Our economy was in a post-war boom and a growing middle class, due to the strong timber industry, wanted to have a little slice of country living and built houses along Camp Creek.
The largest building spike occurred in the 1970s, with 155 houses being built in that decade alone. Relative prosperity and Oregon’s new-found popularity by the counterculture probably explain this. There were also many fewer restrictions to building in the country; Oregon’s restrictive land use laws were enacted in 1973 and made rural development much more difficult, a trend which continues to this day. Building was off in the 1980s due to hard economic times in Oregon. Lane County’s economy had recovered by the 1990s and building was up again, to over 100 houses.
The 2000s to present day have been marked by moderate building in the Camp Creek area. Much of the low hanging fruit had been picked, that is to say, many properties that were easy and made sense to develop were already built. And, the Great Recession that began in 2008 brought building to a near halt. Development in the last couple of decades has trended towards secluded country estates. There’s even a gated community now, which is pretty rare in Lane County.
The Camp Creek Hills are start of the Western Cascades. Some 30 to 40 million years ago this area was ocean and the volcanoes to the east of the shoreline erupted ash and lava to form the Western Cascades. The Camp Creek Road area is thought to be about 25-30 million years old At several times, the land tilted upward and the ocean eventually retreated to its present location, about 60 miles to the west. The area was glaciated from 2 million years ago, until about 11,000 years ago.
The Mohawk and McKenzie Valley area, and probably all of Lane County, is thought to have been inhabited for about the last 10,000 years. The aboriginal inhabitants fared poorly with the coming of European settlers, mostly because of disease. Europeans had antibodies which the Native Americans did not, and disease decimated the Natives. The few remaining natives in the Mohawk and McKenzie Valley were moved in 1856 to the Grand Ronde Reservation, which most widely known for the Spirit Mountain Casino.
When the original surveys of the Mohawk and McKenzie Valley areas were done around 1855 there were very few settlers present. Camp Creek Road has likely existed for a very long time since it’s a natural route along the McKenzie River. It was well established by 1855, and is shown on the original survey of the area. Now, of course, the area is built up and there are thousands of inhabitants. Most work in Eugene Springfield and the average travel time to work is around 1/2 hour.
There are many street like driveways off Camp Creek Road that aren’t named. Named roads and streets are: Sky High Drive, High Ranch Drive, Oakshire Drive, Ellington Drive, Easy Lane, Whitsell Lane, Oakpoint Road, Swearingen Road, Missy Lane, Barker Road, Upper Camp Creek Road, Worth Road, Gemstone Road, Cress Creek Road, Mitten Lane, Mitch Lane, Shenandoah Loop, Ermi Bee Lane, Maranatha Lane, Periwinkle Road, MJ Chase Road, Charley Lane, Stephens Road, Bowen Drive, Patrick Road, Emerald Way, Ruby Lane, Kickbusch Lane, Indian Ford Road, Heather Drive, East of Eden Road, Millican Road, Miller Avenue, Easton Lane, Bryant Lane and McKenzie Acres Drive.
The Camp Creek Road area is a beautiful spot to own real estate. Buying or selling country property in Lane County can be a challenge, but a good realtor who is familiar with the area can be a great aid to you.. If you are interested in real estate along Goats Road or other country properties in Lane County, Oregon, please contact me. Or you can search listings here.
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