The need for strong, independent local journalism
is more urgent than ever. Please support the city we
love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

Oregon Is Reopening Some State Parks, With Ski Resorts and Camping to Follow

Tryon Creek State Natural Area is the closest metro-area park to welcome back visitors this week.

Starting tomorrow, Oregonians can once again use some state parks and other outdoor recreation sites, following a partial reopening by Gov. Kate Brown.

Some of the facilities closest to the metro area that will be accessible to the public include Portland's Tryon Creek State Natural Area, the State Capitol Salem Park and Willamette Mission State Park just north of Keizer.

In late March, the Oregon State Parks system closed all of its day-use areas and campgrounds after throngs of visitors flocked to trails and beaches, despite the governor's repeated calls for residents to stay home in order to try to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The U.S. Forest Service also barred visitors from the Historic Columbia River Highway and every waterfall along the route.

The Gorge will remain off limits for the time being. The state is still coordinating with Washington state to determine an appropriate timeline for reopening that scenic corridor.

Certain beaches are also likely to keep their barricades in place until the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and local jurisdictions feel it is safe to welcome people back.

Brown is also expected to issue a new executive order that will allow ski resorts to resume certain activities—and camping appears to be on the horizon, too, once federal, state and local agencies have prepared those facilities for visitors, since the shutdown occurred when many were starting their post-winter maintenance.

Related: Some Washington State Parks Will Reopen Next Week, but Not in the Gorge.