Take Care Out There in the Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley is a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure-seekers. While many parks and outdoor spaces remain closed due to the devastating events surrounding COVD-19, Gov. Kate Brown has announced the reopening of some state parks and outdoor recreation areas on a trial basis. Remember, non-essential travel is not allowed in Oregon, so while some of these locations are available it’s still important to stay local to your county and community.
Oregon State Parks
As Oregon State parks open up throughout the state, many in the Willamette Valley remain closed or are opening for limited use. Prepare for your outing by checking Oregon’s State Park Map for updates on open trails and areas.
Note that limited overnight camping is currently closed and will be available starting June 9th.
Willamette National Forest
Beginning May 22 select sites and facilities, including day use areas and some limited campgrounds managed by concessionaires, will soon transition into operation.
Note that some trailheads and day-use areas that are still snow-covered will be assessed for opening at a later date. And access to amenities like restrooms, garbage service, and water facilities will be limited.
During all outings we are asking visitors to respect social distancing guidelines when recreating. Following these guidelines will help take care of your family, neighbors, and our community by preventing disease spread.
If you head out, please take some time to consider:
- What risks are associated with the activity you have chosen to do? Law enforcement, search and rescue, and hospitals have limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- If the site you have chosen is full, have some backup options in mind that will allow you to maintain CDC social distancing guidelines.
- How will you help minimize pressure on smaller communities adjacent to the forest that have limited resources? Restaurants, rest stops, and trailhead bathrooms are likely to be closed. Do you have the food, water, and fuel you need for the day? Do you have the supplies you need to hygienically pack out your waste?
Recreation guidelines to keep yourself and others safe:
- Stay local with day trips near home and no groups over 10 people
- Check the park’s status before you go, understand closures can happen without notice and restrooms may not be open
- Pack everything you need so you don’t make any unnecessary stops
- Maintain minimum 6-feet physical distance from others and wear face coverings. Wash or sanitize your hands often
- Prevent crowding by not congregating in parking lots, trailheads or boat ramps
- Be mindful and avoid risky behavior