Author Archives: the Oregon State Parks Team
Free First Day Hikes set for Jan. 1
The First Day Hikes tradition continues New Year’s Day 2018 with our seventh annual event. All 25 hikes in 23 Oregon state parks are free and guided by park rangers or volunteers who will share stories about a park’s geology, history, wildlife and plants. Day-use parking fees are waived for all visitors at participating parks Jan. 1 only.
To see a list of parks hosting hikes and to register for a hike, visit the Oregon State Parks Store, http://bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents. Online registration is new this year–although not required–and will help park staff plan for the hike and provide them with participant contact information should hike details change.
“Bundle up and enjoy your first walk of the year with us,” says Lisa Sumption, Oregon Parks and Recreation director. “First Day Hikes are a fun, healthy way to start 2018 and a great way to see that Oregon state parks are great any time of year.”
Be prepared for inclement weather, dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, bring water and remember to carry binoculars for viewing wildlife. Check the hike listings at http://bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents for details about recommended ages for children hiking and whether pets are allowed.
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.
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
“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.