Albany’s 20-acre Waverly Lake at 3154 Pacific Blvd. S.E. is a popular place to take a leisurely stroll during the lunch hour, tempt a hungry trout with a lure, or rent a paddle boat and watch frolicking ducks and geese.
Waverly Lake is an example of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
In the 1930s, the site was a gravel pit that supplied aggregate used in local construction.
In 1936, the Oregon State Highway Department used rock from the pit to construct the Pacific Highway and overpass.
Writer David Fitchett in an article for Oregon Outdoors noted that after the pit was mined out in 1939, the remaining lake — filled by Cox Creek — began turning into an eyesore for the community, “but was rescued by the Albany Junior Chamber of Commerce.”
Fitchett said the Jaycees used the site for the original Timber Carnival from 1941 until 1959, when the event was moved to Timber Linn Park.
That’s when the city of Albany used the lake as the center piece of Waverly Park.
Today, paddle boats can be rented for $5 per half-hour from June 26 through Aug. 31. Hours are Thursday and Friday from noon until 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The lake is also a great place to take kids fishing for crappie, rainbow trout, largemouth bass and bluegill. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks the lake quite frequently.
The lake offers gently sloped, grassy banks and also has access for disabled anglers.
The area features paved hiking and biking trails, barbecue grills, picnic tables and restrooms.
For many years, a giant foam duck floated around on the lake, but has been retired.
Linn County reporter Alex Paul can be contacted by calling 541-812-6114 or by emailing email@example.com.