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Free camping and fishing–make it happen

Celebrate Your Parks on State Parks Day, June 4, 20162016-State-Parks-Day

Camping is free the night of June 4 in traditional sites—full hookup (sewer, electricity and water), electrical hookup (electricity and water), and tent sites.  Parking is free June 4-5 at the 26 parks that charge a day-use parking fee.

Visitors will also be able to fish, crab and clam without a license June 4-5 for Oregon’s Free Fishing Weekend, hosted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). ODFW will offer the gear, bait and instructions at parks around the state, including Benson State Recreation Area in the Columbia River Gorge and Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park and Fort Stevens State Park on the coast.

Campsite reservations may be made by calling 800-452-5687 before 5 p.m. June 3. Or, reserve online at While the campsite rental is free, an $8 nonrefundable reservation fee still applies. Of the 52 state park campgrounds, 42 take reservations.

Parks throughout the state will host activities including guided hikes—Saturday, June 4 is also National Trails Day—plus open houses, tours, special barbecues and guest appearances by J.R. Beaver, Oregon State Parks mascot.

  • Silver Falls State Park east of Salem will have free refreshments, a 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 host a volunteer work party in the morning, followed by free lunch at Hilltop Day-use Area, a guided bike ride, scavenger hunt, skins and skulls display and more.
  • See a fur trappers’ encampment at Champoeg State Heritage Area. Walk among the tents and work stations, ask questions of the interpreters and watch demonstrations of trapping, shooting, cooking and packing for the fur trade.

Grant’s Getaways — Let summer camping season begin with a Let’s Go Camping adventure (2015)

Let’s Go Camping 2015

Let’s Go Camping overnighters are set for 17 state parks this summer. We provide the tent, sleeping bags and know-how. Learn how to set up a tent, build campfires and prepare meals in your campsite for $30 per family. Visit for a list of locations and dates. Call 888-953-7667 to register.

Nestucca River National Back County Byway

Clay Meyers State Natural Area at Whalen Island and Whalen Island County Park

Cascadia State Park

Dish “The Dyrt” on your campsite (2013)


Ever found a campsite that was perfect (or at least flat)? Ever wished there was a way to share that info with fellow campers? If so, you might want to dig into The Dyrt. The Dyrt is a new start-up company based in Portland. They’ve created a website where people can post photos and reviews of campgrounds and campsites across the U.S. The content is “user-generated,” meaning it comes directly from other people who’ve stayed in the same park.

You can see a sample profile submitted by Kevin L. of a campsite at Milo McIver State Park here. While Oregon State Parks is not affiliated with The Dyrt, we wanted to share the site as a resource for our visitors.

The Dyrt’s founder, Sarah Smith, says she started the website because she “wasn’t able to see the ground-level view of a campsite and couldn’t tell what it was really like. I wanted to make the entire experience pain-free, enjoyable, and effective.” The experience of searching for a campsite will become even more pain-free once The Dyrt’s mobile app launches next year.

Right now, The Dyrt is giving away $1,000 worth of REI gift cards to meet their initial goal of at least one campsite listed in all 50 states. As a bonus, each time you document a campsite, your name is entered into a drawing for a $100 REI gift card giveaway happening at the end of the summer. The more campsites you document, the more chances you have to win. Go to to learn more. And if you’re the first person to add a campsite in a new state, you automatically win a $20 REI gift certificate.

So the next time you’re setting up your tent somewhere, just tell everyone you’re doing research.