Detroit is located in Marion County, east of Salem in the Cascades, between Gates and Idanha, along Highway 22. This community is also situated on the banks of the North Santiam River, near the Detroit Lake State Park, within the Willamette National Forest. The current town site is on higher ground than the original. When the Detroit Dam was built and Detroit Lake created following World War II, a move to higher ground was required. The Detroit area is a center for recreation. In the summer, this focuses on Detroit Lake, with numerous campgrounds and two marinas. In winter, the area farther east along the highway is used for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and other winter sports. Bull of the Woods Wilderness Area is located to the north.
The two major economic supporters for the area include timber and tourism.
There is also a Detroit, Michigan.
Detroit is part of the Salem, Oregon metro area.