If you've been envisioning a summer filled with group picnics or camping trips, Oregon State Parks just made it a bit easier to make those plans.
Today, the agency announced that it will reopen overnight and day-use areas for large parties at some of its properties. You can start booking reservations on April 15 for stays beginning May 1 and beyond.
Some of the more popular locations include one group camp and all three day-use areas at Silver Falls State Park southeast of Salem, picnic shelters along the coast at Cape Lookout and Fort Stevens state parks, and three group camps at Wallowa Lake. You can view a full list on the Oregon State Parks website.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, group sizes will be temporarily reduced to 25 visitors for each open area, which are normally open to anywhere from 50 to 200 people, depending on the site.
Meanwhile, hiker-biker camping spots are also starting to reopen. Those are first-come, first-served walk-in areas where recreationalists can pitch a tent. Three parks, including Ainsworth, Milo McIver and Willamette Mission are already accepting hiker-biker overnight stays. Those will be joined by 16 additional properties by June 1.
This spring's recreational opportunities are vastly different from last year, when every trail, campground and picnic table was closed for approximately two months to help quell the spread of COVID-19. Oregon State Parks wants to remind visitors that everyone still needs to follow safety guidelines: Wear masks because many trails attract crowds, give space to others, and wash or sanitize your hands often.