Category Archives: state parks

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.

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

Take a guided kayak tour with Oregon State Parks


The weather is warm and that means it’s a great time to be in the water–or at least on the water. We offer guided kayak tours at six scenic locations this summer. You can paddle on the Clackamas, Columbia or Deschutes Rivers, glide over an estuary, or drift through a freshwater marsh. Park rangers will point out the local plant and animal life and discuss the history of each area during these relaxing trips.

Parks provide the kayaks, paddles, and personal flotation devices. Please remember to bring sun protection (sunscreen, glasses and a hat), lots of water, lunch, and shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Also, dress in layers and bring a dry change of clothes.

Single or double kayaks are available and the rates range  $15-$20 for singles and $20-$40 for doubles. Kids must be at least 6 years old to take part, and children 6 to 12 must share a tandem kayak with an adult. Anyone 12 and older can rent a single kayak.

Most of the tours run in July and August, but the dates and times vary. Visit the Oregon Parks Store for more information and to register for a guided tour.

Beaver Creek at Brian Booth State Park
The slow-moving creek gives kayakers an incredible chance to appreciate the biodiversity of a healthy, wetland marsh ecosystem on this 2 1/2-hour paddle. Beaver Creek at Brian Booth State Park is on the central coast near Seal Rock

Clay Myers State Natural Area
Enjoy the Sand Lake Estuary, one of only two major estuaries in Oregon designated as natural due to little agricultural or commercial development. Several streams connect to this aquatic system that features an intertidal salt marsh, tidal channels, and forested wetlands. Including the safety and skill review, give yourself about four hours for this trip–2 1/2 hours on the water. Clay Myers State Natural Area is on the northern coast near Pacific City on the northern coast.

Milo McIver State Park
Get ready for a 2-hour, 3-mile excursion along Estacada Lake on the Clackamas River. Rangers will share their knowledge of local wildlife and the area’s logging history. A $5 day-use parking permit is required.  Milo McIver State Park is 24 miles southeast of Portland.

Rooster Rock State Park
Enjoy a 2-hour trip with incredible views of the gorge on this paddle along a channel to the Columbia River. This trip is designed for beginners and local history buffs. A $5 day-use parking permit is required. Rooster Rock State Park is 24 miles east of Portland.

Kayaking at The Cove Palisades

The Cove Palisades State Park
Take a 3-hour excursion with stunning views of the 800-foot basalt cliffs along the Deschutes River arm of Lake Billy Chinook. The interpretive staff will share info about local geology, area history, and the plants and animals of the High Desert. These trips begin in September. A $5 day-use parking permit is required.  The Cove Palisades is near Madras in central Oregon.

William Tugman State Park
Paddle along Eel Lake, a deep waterway formed by a series of geological events. The tour drifts close to the shoreline and offers a great chance to see the wide variety of flora and fauna. This tour takes about four hours including a skills review and safety orientation. William Tugman State Park is south of Reedsport on the central coast.

A private company provides stand up paddle board and kayak rentals at William Tugman. Jessie Honeyman State Park near Florence offers private pedal boat, canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals.