Oregon State Parks

by Wendy on September 11, 2015

The network of state parks in Oregon is certainly one of the finest in the nation, and perhaps the most scenic and diverse. They stretch from the eastern high deserts through the Cascades and Coast ranges and down to the beaches in the west. They range in size and amenities from large, full-service parks with a variety of programs to small unattended wayside parks that offer only a viewpoint and a historical marker to tell its tale. Here’s just a few of the many RV-friendly parks for you visit on your next road trip…

Beachside State Recreation Site

A few miles south of Waldport and north of Yachats on the central coast, this small, exquisite destination campground is right alongside miles of broad, sandy beach that makes the park perfect for kite flying and whale watching. Every campsite is mere seconds from the beach, which makes the park perfect for watching storms and sunsets.

Beachside is an excellent mid-point stop as you take a jaunt on the coast. Within 30 miles in either direction, you’ll find visitor centers, tide pools, hiking and driving tours, three lighthouses, crabbing, clamming, fishing, aquarium and science centers.

Approximately 30 electrical sites with water and more than 40 tent sites with water nearby (one vehicle per site). Two yurts – one pet friendly. Flush toilets and hot showers. Firewood for sale. Two sites and both yurts are accessible to campers with disabilities. 541-563-3220.

 

Cape Blanco State Park

Use the extra-large, private, sheltered campsites as your base of operations while you enjoy the Cape Blanco lighthouse and historic Hughes House tours. The lighthouse and historic home are open from April to October.

Cape Blanco is the most southern of Oregon’s lighthouses, and is the westernmost point in Oregon. Proposed in 1864, it was the first lighthouse in the state outfitted with a first-order Fresnel lens in 1870.

Work off your picnic lunch by hiking over eight miles of trails with many spectacular ocean vistas, woodland and wetland settings. Bring your horse and enjoy seven miles of horse trails and the facilities in our horse camp.

There are approximately 50 electrical sites with water. Four standard cabins – one pet friendly. Horse camp with eight primitive sites. Reservable group camp. Firewood for sale. Flush toilets and hot showers. Seven sites and one cabin are accessible to campers with disabilities. 541-332-2973.

 

Silver Falls State Park

People call it the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, and once you visit, you know why. Silver Falls State Park is the kind of standout scenic treasure that puts Oregon firmly onto the national and international stage. Nestled in the foothills of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, less than an hour east of the state capital of Salem, Oregon, the sprawling 9,200 acre property is the largest state park in Oregon, and one of the most popular.

Where else can you walk behind a waterfall? Check out the famous South Falls and see what a 177-foot curtain of water looks like from behind. It is part of the Trail of Ten Falls, a spectacular, nationally recognized hiking trail that weaves through a dense forested landscape. The trail passes a series of breathtaking waterfalls along a rocky canyon, and descends to a winding creek at the forest floor. This nearly 9-mile loop is considered to be a moderate hike, with an overall elevation change of 800 feet. Several connecting trails with separate access points make shorter routes. For everyone’s safety— absolutely no pets.

The park offers more than 25 miles of back-country trails for mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding. The trails are lined with lush vegetation and remnants of old growth forests. Wildlife is abundant. Bears and cougars live in the more remote park areas.

The South Falls Day-use area has spacious lawns, barbecue stands, picnic shelters, tables, a playground, horseshoe pits, an off lead area for dogs, and a charming creek. Ever since the opening day in 1933, visitors have been using these grounds for potlucks, family reunions and weddings, all within a short walk to view the famous 177-foot South Falls.

The main campground has tent sites, RV spots and cabins. Bring your horse and stay in the horse campground. If you need an area for many people, the park also has group tent and RV camps, dormitory-style bunkhouses (each Ranch sleeps 75) and the historic Youth Camp for up to 250 campers.

The Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center offers a variety of amenities for all visitors to the park. Relax and enjoy comfortable lodging within the wooded setting, or feast at the many catered specialty events. For more information call 503-873-8681.

 

Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens was once the primary military defense installation in the three-fort Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River (along with Forts Canby and Columbia in Washington). The fort saw service for 84 years, from the Civil War to World War II. Today, Fort Stevens has grown into a 4,300-acre park offering exploration of history, nature, and many recreational opportunities.

Camping, beach-combing, freshwater lake swimming, trails, wildlife viewing, a historic shipwreck, and a historic military fort make Fort Stevens a uniquely diverse park. The park also has a network of nine miles of paved bicycle trails and six miles of hiking trails that allow for exploring a variety of habitats including spruce and hemlock forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine areas.

Coffenbury Lake has two swimming areas, a picnic area, restrooms, and a boat ramp. Two smaller neighboring lakes are great for fishing and canoeing. Throughout the year you can enjoy displays ranging from the Civil War to World War II at the military museum and information center, visit the only Civil War-era earthen fort on the west coast, or explore the many turn-of-the-century concrete artillery gun batteries on the coast.

During the summer, take a tour underground through a rare gun battery that also served as a World War II command center, ride in the back of a period military transport truck and see the fortifications from a whole new perspective, or get a feel for what the inside of a military jail was like as you walk through one of the last brick-built guard houses in the country.

The park continues to have the longest running partnership with a friends group in the state of Oregon. The Friends Of Old Fort Stevens is a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving, restoring, and interpreting historic Fort Stevens for future generations.

Approximately 170 full-hookup sites. More than 300 electrical sites with water. Six tent sites with water nearby. 15 yurts – one pet friendly. 11 deluxe cabins – one pet friendly. Flush toilets and hot showers. RV dump station. Adult bike rentals. Four campsites, eight cabins and ten yurts are accessible to campers with disabilities. 503-861-3170 x 21.

 

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

Situated halfway up the Oregon coast and three miles south of Florence on scenic Highway 101 is the second largest overnight camp in the state. There are two miles of sand dunes between the park and the ocean. Two natural freshwater lakes are within the park: Cleawox, which is great for swimming, and Woahink, which has a public boat ramp and is used for all water sports.

This a camp for all seasons. Rent a canoe and explore the lake. Spring brings out the pink rhododendrons. Come summertime, this is a great place for family reunions. In fall the huckleberries and blackberries are ripe for the picking.

Approximately 45 full-hookup sites. More than 120 electrical sites with water. More than 185 tent sites with water nearby. Ten yurts – one pet friendly. Six seasonal group tent camping areas. Firewood for sale. RV dump station. Four campsites and two yurts are accessible to campers with disabilities. Campground: 541-997-3641  Office: 541-997-3851

 

L. Stub Stewart State Park

Just 34 miles west of Portland, you’ve got the best backyard imaginable. Campers, hikers, cyclists or equestrians can spend their days exploring and adventuring across 1,800 acres of rolling hills, forest glades, gleaming streams and wildflowers, all crisscrossed with over 25 miles of trails.

Stub Stewart is close enough for a perfect day trip. Enjoy a family gathering before magnificent views of the Coast Range at Hilltop Dayuse Area, or embark on a journey from either of two trailheads, Hilltop or Clayhill to the north with its horse staging area, and spend a few wide-eyed hours discovering the forest. The multi-use trails with six miles of cross-country and freeride mountain bike trails range from easy and forgiving to robust and challenging, all with ample opportunity for wildlife viewing and immersion in the scenery. An 18-hole disc golf course winds its way through the trees just east of Hilltop, and a 3-hole course is near the amphitheater. Stop by the Discovery Depot, where information awaits on the area’s flora, fauna, and park history.

 

Dairy Creek Camp West (year-round)
40+ full-hookup sites. 12 walk-in tent sites, water nearby. Flush toilets & hot showers.

Dairy Creek Camp East (Mar. 1-Oct. 31)
35 full-hookup sites. Flush toilets & hot showers. Playground.

Hares Canyon Horse Camp (Mar. 1-Oct. 31)
13 full-hookup sites/four-stall corrals. Two double-size full-hookup sites/six-stall corrals. Manure bins. Flush toilets & hot showers.

Brooke Creek Hike-in Camp (year-round)
23 primitive campsites, water nearby. Common areas with fire rings. Vault toilets.

Mountain Dale Cabin Village (year-round)
3 double-room cabins (cabin 6 is pet-friendly). 12 single-room cabins (cabins 7 & 8 are pet friendly). Flush toilets & hot showers in cabin village restroom. Three sites at Dairy Creek West and two sites at Dairy Creek East designated as accessible to campers with disabilities. Thirteen cabins are ADA accessible.

For more information on these and all Oregon State Parks go to www.oregonstateparks.org

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