Several Oregon state park campgrounds are reopening Friday with limited services and over two dozen more state park campgrounds are set to reopen in two weeks.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department reopened seven first-come, first-served campgrounds in Eastern Oregon and expect to add dozens more throughout the state, including popular areas like the coast and the Columbia River Gorge.
The campgrounds reopening Friday are: Goose Lake State Recreation Area, Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site, Minam State Recreation Area, Hilgard Junction State Park, Catherine Creek State Park, Clyde Holliday State Recreation State and Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
OPRD director Lisa Sumption said she is delighted to be reopening campgrounds.
“We are working hard to welcome campers whenever we can safely do so, as soon as we can,” she said in a press release statement.
Sumption said state park campgrounds will reopen only when public health guidelines established by the Oregon Health Authority have been met within the county and when the local community and staff are ready.
All group camping, cabins and yurts are closed until further notice.
Earlier this week, federal and state agencies began reopening trails and limited day-use sites in the Columbia River Gorge, while crowd-attracting sites like campgrounds and visitor’s centers remain closed.
Agencies are working together to reopen and phase in access to public lands and waterways and are encouraging people to visit alternative areas across the region and disperse themselves as much as possible.
Most waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls and others along the stretch of the Historic Columbia River Highway known as “Waterfall Corridor,” remain closed because they draw crowds of visitors from around the world each summer.
Dog Mountain, Beacon Rock Trail and several other narrow hiking trails also remain closed. The trails in the closed Eagle Creek Fire area, including Eagle Creek Trail and the nearby day use site, also remain closed.
A bi-state, multi-organization campaign called Ready, Set, GOrge has a website listing what is open and closed in the Columbia River Gorge.
Starting June 9, at least 27 Oregon state park campground sites will reopen throughout the state, including popular areas Fort Stevens near Astoria, Nehalem Bay south of Cannon Beach, Silver Falls east of Salem and Memaloose near The Dalles. For a more updated list, check the Oregon Parks And Recreation Department website.
The online reservation system will reopen sometime next week and will accept new reservations one day to two weeks in advance.