Parking fee waived Nov. 24 for ‘Green Friday’


Bicycling Fort Stevens State Park trails

Bicycling Fort Stevens State Park trails.

Play free on Nov. 24 to ce ‘Green Friday.’  We’re waiving day-use parking fees in 26 Oregon State Parks the day after Thanksgiving.

“We started this tradition three years ago to encourage people to opt outside,” said OPRD director Lisa Sumption. “Why not get some fresh air with your family and create a new holiday tradition?”

To help celebrate, the nonprofit Oregon State Parks Foundation is offering free hot drinks and snacks at Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Fort Stevens State Park, Silver Falls State Park and Cape Blanco State Park. Refreshments — donated by Starbucks Coffee, Nossa Familia Coffee, Smith Tea, Stevens Cocoa and KIND Bars — will be served by volunteers from the local Friends Groups.

Parking is free year-round at almost all state parks; the waiver applies to the 26 parks that charge $5 daily for parking. The waiver applies from open to close on Nov. 24, except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 3 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. A list of parks that require day-use parking permits is at bit.ly/OregonStateParksParking.

Daily parking permits can be purchased on site, but one- and two-year passes are also available online at store.oregonstateparks.org.

Visit the Oregon State Parks website for directions to each park: oregonstateparks.org.

New Oregon State Park camping rates go into effect Nov. 1, 2017


The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is raising state park camping rates by $2 for some types of campsites effective Nov. 1, 2017.

The Oregon Legislature approved the $2 increase as part of the 2017-19 Oregon Parks and Recreation Department budget.  After a public comment period in August and September, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the rate increase at its September 2017 meeting.

The rate for a typical full hookup RV site at the state’s most popular campgrounds will rise to $30 per night, and basic yurts will go from $40 to $42. Rates will also rise by the same $2 amount for deluxe yurts, basic and deluxe cabins, electric sites, and hiker-biker camping areas. Tent camping rates, now $17-$19 per night, will not change. Additional information is available at
http://bit.ly/OregonStateParksrates.

“The $2 rate increase aligns with the views expressed in past park surveys that show visitors prefer smaller rate increases on a more frequent basis than a large fee increase in the future,” says Lisa Sumption, director of OPRD.  “We do not receive tax dollars for operation of our parks. Nearly all our funding comes from visitors, a portion of RV registration dollars, and the Oregon Lottery.”

Oregon’s state parks attract 2.7 million campers and 51.5 million day visitors every year, consistently ranking in the nation’s top 10 state park systems.  OPRD last raised its camping rates in 2014, and the state park system is not funded by taxes. Visitors, voter-approved funding from the Oregon Lottery, and a share of recreational vehicle registrations fund the Oregon state park system.

Visit www.oregonstateparks.org for a list of all state parks and campgrounds.

Is the beach your go-to camping spot for the eclipse?


Think Again

The Aug. 21 new moon will bring very high and very low tides. A very low tide exposes a lot of beach, which is deceptively dangerous when the high tide rolls in. This will happen late on the night of Aug. 20 into the early morning of Aug. 21. Don’t camp on the beach because the high tide of more than 9 feet will cover most of the normally dry sand. The best scenario is that you and your sleeping bag will get wet. The other scenarios are far worse.

Also, camping is prohibited on the beach immediately seaward of a state park, as well as within the city limits of Newport and Lincoln City (within the totality path). No overnight parking on the beach anywhere.

Top camping tips for the Total Solar Eclipse

Look for these signs at beach access points in the path of totality