A Few Oregon State Parks Now Ready to Offer Limited Access

Posted on May 5, 2020

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) announced a small number of inland state parks will offer limited services starting Wednesday, May 6.
Parks returning to limited daytime service:

  • Tryon Creek in Portland
  • Willamette Mission north of Keizer
  • Mongold boat ramp at Detroit Lake
  • State Capitol State Park in Salem
  • The Cove Palisades boat ramp at Lake Billy Chinook near Culver
  • Prineville Reservoir boat ramp near Prineville
  • Joseph Stewart boat ramp on Lost Creek Lake near Shady Cove
  • Pilot Butte to pedestrians (no vehicles) in Bend

Limited day-use will slowly return to other state parks starting the week of May 11 based on the readiness of the community around the park to welcome visitors, and how prepared the park is with staff, supplies, and equipment. State parks will open and close with little advance notice; updates will be posted online at oregonstateparks.org or call 800-551-6949 (Mon-Fri, 8a-5p) and should be checked before visiting.

Not all restrooms will be open, and parking will be limited. State park camping will return as soon as it can be safely managed, and while preparations are being made, no opening date has been selected.

Visitors should expect a different state park experience than they are used to, and will need to prepare by:

  • Staying home if you’re sick.
  • If visiting, staying local and close to home, meaning less than 50 miles in urban areas.
  • Only visiting with members of their household.
  • Bringing all supplies—food, water, hand cleanser—needed for a short trip.

If a park appears crowded, leave and come back at another time. If there’s space at the park, patrons need to visit with care:

  • Wear a face covering. Homemade is fine.
  • Stay at least six feet away from people who aren’t from your household. More is better.
  • Cover your cough with a tissue (then throw it away), or the inside of your elbow.
  • Leave no trace: pack out everything you bring with you.
  • Stick to low-risk activities to reduce stress on local emergency response and health care systems.
  • Keep your visit short. Restrooms and other buildings may be closed.
  • Watch for signs at the park for more information.

“We know these last six weeks has seemed longer, but your health is important to us,” says Lisa Sumption, OPRD Director. “It is true outdoor recreation boosts our mental and physical health, but parks concentrate people in a community, and we have to do this carefully if it’s going to work.”

“We need your cooperation to keep parks open,” she adds.

High-density parks on the north coast, the Columbia Gorge, boat accesses to the John Day and Deschutes Rivers, and places like Smith Rock in Central Oregon will likely be among the last to return to limited service, and no dates for state parks in those regions have been announced.

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