State Parks Day To Be Celebrated With Free Camping, Day-Use, And Activities

Oregon State Parks are gearing up for a day of celebration as they invite visitors to enjoy free parking, camping, and a range of special events on June 1. State Parks Day, a tradition since 1998, aims to show gratitude to Oregonians for their longstanding support of the state park system.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will waive day-use parking fees at the 25 locations that typically charge them. Additionally, all camping fees for tent, RV, and horse campsites will be waived, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to experience the natural beauty of Oregon’s State Parks without any financial barriers.

The festivities continue on June 2, with the waiving of day-use parking fees to support Free Fishing Days offered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This provides an excellent opportunity for nature enthusiasts to engage in fishing activities and enjoy the state’s abundant water resources.

State Parks Day offers a unique opportunity for Oregonians and visitors alike to appreciate the natural wonders and recreational activities that the state parks have to offer. Whether it’s camping, hiking, fishing, or engaging in special events, this celebration encourages individuals and families to connect with the great outdoors and create lasting memories.

In addition to the free camping and day-use activities, several special events are planned at selected parks to enhance the State Parks Day celebration:

1. Carl G. Washburne: A hot dog barbecue will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in campground B Loop, offering a chance to enjoy a delicious meal in a scenic setting.

2. Fort Stevens: Visitors can participate in a disc golf event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lil’ Oozlefinch Putting Course. Attendees have the opportunity to win special prizes by showcasing their disc golf skills.

3. Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail – Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead: Rangers and park partners will be available at the Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide information and offer self-guided activities.

4. Jessie Honeyman: A hot dog barbecue will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the back patio of the Historic Cleawox Lodge, providing a delightful culinary experience.

5. L.L. Stub Stewart: The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park are hosting a Community Fair at the Hilltop Day-use Area Picnic Shelter from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will feature booths and tables hosted by local fire departments, state forestry agencies, and local volunteer organizations. Attendees can also enjoy interpretive displays and arts and crafts activities.

6. Milo McIver: Park rangers will lead a Plant Identification Scavenger Hunt from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Interpretive Shelter. Participants will learn about different plant species within the park and have the opportunity to explore the natural surroundings.

7. Silver Falls State Park: Visitors can learn about the emerald ash borer (EAB) and its impact on Oregon’s ash trees. Representatives from Oregon State Parks and the Oregon Department of Forestry will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Discovery Table in the Stone Circle in the South Falls day-use area.

8. Spring Valley Access: A guided hike exploring native plants will take place at 11 a.m. Participants can join at the main parking lot near 8900 Wallace Road NW in Salem.

9. The Cove Palisades: The Festival of the Land, a free event celebrating the diverse history, food, and culture of Central Oregon, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Festival highlights include Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, kids’ games and activities, a petting zoo, mini farmers market, and displays on pollinators, wildfires, and fish.