Camp for free June 6 and #InventAdventure

2015 Oregon State Parks Day

Camp, play and fish for free the weekend of June 6-7 in celebration of State Parks Day and Free Fishing Weekend.

State Parks Day

Camping is free the night of June 6 in traditional sites—full hookup (sewer, electricity and water), electrical hookup (electricity and water), and tent sites. Parking at the 26 parks that charge a day-use parking fee will also be free June 6 & 7. Campsite reservations may be made by calling 800-452-5687 before 5 p.m. June 5. Or, reserve online at Of the 52 state park campgrounds, 40 take reservations.

Join guided hikes, open houses, tours and special barbecues on Saturday.  J.R. Beaver, Oregon’s State Park mascot, will be on hand for the kids.

Silver Falls State Park east of Salem will host a free barbecue, guided waterfall tour and its annual Foot Race Challenge, with a 5K, 6-mile and kids race. Stub Stewart State Park west of Portland will offer a free lunch at the Hilltop Day-Use area, along with a guided hike, bike ride and orienting workshop. Go to our event calendar and search on State Parks Day for a complete list of activities.

Submit your Instagram photos and videos of your park adventures throughout the weekend and summer with #InventAdventure.

Free Fishing Weekend

Visitors will be able to fish, crab and clam without a license June 6-7 for Oregon’s Free Fishing Weekend, hosted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).  ODFW will provide the gear, bait and instructions at some state parks, including Champoeg, Detroit Lake, Jessie Honeyman and parks in the Columbia River Gorge. See a list of all events statewide.




New music videos filmed in Oregon State Parks

Two years ago, Slater Smith of The Weather Machine spent the summer filming his song “Back O’er Oregon” in 185 Oregon state parks. His latest project, Oregon Road Sessions, includes five bands playing original songs in five parks.

The first music video features the The Weather Machine playing “Wild West Coast” at Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint.


Prineville Reservoir Star Party set for May 16

Saturn, Jupiter and Venus may steal the show

Saturn Equinox

2009 Saturn equinox. By NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Viewings of three brightly lit planets will be the highlight of a free Star Party at Prineville Reservoir State Park on Saturday, May 16. Saturn, with its striking rings, will be almost fully tilted towards earth and illuminated by the sun, making this mystical planet the brightest in eight years. Massive Jupiter will showcase its cloud bands and four bright moons, and Venus will appear as a brilliant thin crescent.

The Star Party begins at 1 p.m. in the day-use area with a variety of astronomy-related exhibits and activities for all. You can peer through “Big Doug,” the park’s 16-inch telescope. Solar telescopes are available during the day, allowing safe viewing of solar flares on the sun’s surface. Both professional and amateur astronomers are on hand starting at dusk to help guide you in using the different types of telescopes and to point out significant features in the night sky. Look for colorful star clusters, nebulae (interstellar clouds of dust and gases), distant galaxies and a host of deep sky objects.

“Prineville Reservoir State Park–a prime spot along the lake surrounded by low mountains–is particularly well-known by astronomers as an excellent place for stargazing,” said Jill Nishball, Visitor Experiences coordinator for the eastern half of the state. Volunteers from the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver are returning to co-sponsor the annual event.

If you want to stay through the night, the park offers nearly 100 campsites for both RVs and tents, as well as five deluxe cabins at the main campground. All can be reserved online at or by phone at 1-800-452-5687. Another 30 electrical hookup sites in the park’s Jasper Point campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Prineville Reservoir State Park (park info, map & driving directions)