Oregonians will soon have more options to go camping now that the state parks department is finalizing details on a capital improvement plan.

Oregon lawmakers approved $50 million to fund a series of projects over the next five years. State parks staff outlined some of the plans at a recent meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

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Three people sit together at a park picnic area. At least two of them are seated in wheelchairs.

Ashley Schahfer (center) participating with Matt Howard and West Livaudais in an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department adaptive camping pilot program in 2018

Courtesy Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Park Services Manager Matt Rippee said expanded campgrounds are in the works for several state parks in the Willamette Valley, including Silver Falls and Champoeg. He said the projects will create more options for Oregonians looking for a quick camping trip.

“It also gives folks an opportunity, if a big storm comes through in the middle of the night, or a baby is crying, they can hop in the car and head home, and it’s not a four hour drive,” he said.

Also on the list: A visitor center and expanded parking for the iconic Smith Rock State Park near Redmond.

A man walks hand-in-hand with a small boy in Smith Rock State Park on May 16, 2020.

A man walks hand-in-hand with a small boy in Smith Rock State Park on May 16, 2020.

Stephani Gordon / OPB

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