Author Archives: the Oregon State Parks Team

Mother’s Day events at Shore Acres, Vista House & Silver Falls

RhododendronShore Acres State Park

Many flowers in the Shore Acres formal garden will be blooming May 10, but Mother’s Day is all about the rhododendrons, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The Southwestern Oregon Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society will have displays and experts on hand to answer your questions. The Friends of Shore Acres will serve cookies, punch and coffee in the Garden House. The event is free, but day-use parking is $5. Shore Acres State Park is 12 miles southwest of Coos Bay on the Cape Arago Highway.

Vista House at Crown Point

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a Columbia River Gorge view. From 11 a.m.-3 p.m., displays inside Vista House will feature 1910-1920 photos of women in the Gorge, and flower arrangements. Corsages available for moms. The event and parking are free. Vista House is about 30 miles east of Portland on the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Silver Falls State Park

Mother’s Day weekend at Silver Falls features native plants, wildflowers and birds May 9-10, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the South Falls day-use area. This year marks the 37th anniversary of the event, which includes guided nature walks, live raptor flyovers and wildflower sketching classes. See the Event Guide at the Discover Silver Falls blog for times and places. The event is free, but day-use parking is $5.

Make your reservations now for Mother’s Day Brunch at The Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center. Seating times are available at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., May 10. Call (866) 575-8875 for your reservation and free family portrait. Free parking at the Conference Center only for the brunch.

Silver Falls State Park is about 30 miles southeast of Salem on Highway 214.

2015 Silver Falls Birding & Wildflower Festival


New Thompson’s Mills program for kids only

Boating in the Thompson's MIlls mill pond.

The mill pond at Thompson’s Mills was a kids’ dream.

What was it like more than 100 years ago to be a child living at Thompson’s Mills? The adults were busy milling their neighbors’ wheat into flour, but what were the kids’ jobs and what did they do to entertain themselves?

Park Ranger Tom Parsons says the new “Be a Pioneer Kid” program focuses on the adventures of growing up at the mill during the horse and wagon days. The free sessions for ages 8-12 are offered each Saturday, May 2-Aug. 29, 10 a.m.-noon.  Parsons added that free, guided mill and grounds tours for all ages are also available daily at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

“The activities are hands-on,” Parsons says. “The kids will play 19th-century games, learn pioneer cooking techniques and plant seeds in their little own plots, as well as learn about the recently planted apple orchard. We hope they will come back to see how their seeds have grown into vegetables and flowers through the summer and how the trees have matured in the long term.”

“Another cool thing—almost all of the information presented is based on first-hand accounts of growing up here, so we’ll be able to mention the real child who did these activities long ago,” he added.

Each Saturday session is limited to 10 children accompanied by an adult. Call (541) 491-3611 to reserve your child’s spot and hear a rundown of planned activities.

Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site (park information and driving directions)

Slater Smith’s new project — Oregon Road Sessions

In 2013 Slater Smith and The Weather Machine spent the summer filming the “Back O’er Oregon” music video in 185 state parks. His latest project, Oregon Road Sessions, again features state parks.

His band and four other bands filmed at Vista House at Crown Point, Willamette Mission, Cape Meares Lighthouse and Fort Stevens. Take a look at “Wild West Coast” filmed in Peter Skene Ogden State Park. Watch here for more videos as they debut.

Order your new Oregon State Parks Guide

The free, full-color, magazine features detailed information about more than 200 of Oregon’s most popular state campgrounds, day-use areas, trails, bikeways and heritage sites. Visit our online ordering site or call 800-551-6949 to have the guide mailed to your home.

The guide has been thoroughly updated, with revised or expanded listings for each property, an enlarged statewide map and up-to-date reservation information. Special icons denote parks with pet-friendly yurts or cabins, day-use parking fees, scenic views and other features, as well as facilities that are accessible to people with disabilities. Feature stories highlight lighthouses, tidepools, hiker/biker camps and winter recreation opportunities.

Oregon State Parks Guide 2015-2016