More state parks could slowly reopen starting next week

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon State officials are watching closely after the first batch of parks reopened to the public this week. More could follow if everything goes to plan this weekend.

While the only state park facility opened up locally was the Joseph Stewart boat ramp at Lost Creek Lake, several others opened in the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon. All the facilities are day-use areas, as camping remains closed at state parks.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said they’ll be watching to make sure everyone cooperates with COVID-19 prevention guidelines. If all goes well, limited day-use will slowly return to other state parks starting next week.

The following parks are currently open with limited daytime service:

  • Tryon Creek in Portland
  • Willamette Mission north of Keizer
  • Mongold boat ramp at Detroit Lake
  • State Capitol State Park in Salem
  • The Cove Palisades boat ramp at Lake Billy Chinook near Culver
  • Prineville Reservoir boat ramp near Prineville
  • Joseph Stewart boat ramp on Lost Creek Lake near Shady Cove
  • Pilot Butte to pedestrians (no vehicles) in Bend

“We know these last six weeks has seemed longer, but your health is important to us,” says Lisa Sumption, OPRD Director. “It is true outdoor recreation boosts our mental and physical health, but parks concentrate people in a community, and we have to do this carefully if it’s going to work.”

OPRD said, “If a park appears crowded, leave and come back at another time. If there’s space at the park, patrons need to visit with care.”

Parks and Rec gave the following guidelines to make sure your visit is safe:

  • Wear a face covering. Homemade is fine.
  • Stay at least six feet away from people who aren’t from your household. More is better.
  • Cover your cough with a tissue (then throw it away), or the inside of your elbow.
  • Leave no trace: pack out everything you bring with you.
  • Stick to low-risk activities to reduce stress on local emergency response and health care systems.
  • Keep your visit short. Restrooms and other buildings may be closed.
  • Watch for signs at the park for more information.

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