Black Friday may be the Super Bowl of shopping events in some households, but the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging people to increase their heart rate outdoors that day instead by offering a holiday weekend discount.
On Friday, Nov. 26, the agency will waive its $5 day-use parking fees in the 25 state parks that normally require payment.
Known to some as “Green Friday,” the movement to encourage visitors to leave behind frenzied retail environments in favor of more leisurely forest ones has become an annual tradition for Oregon Parks and Rec. The agency typically partners with businesses like REI to promote recreating in nature.
“The outdoors provides everyone a place to escape pandemic and holiday stress,” Parks and Rec director Lisa Sumption said in a press release, calling Green Friday “an important acknowledgement that going for a walk or just being outdoors can relieve stress in a way that nothing else can.”
The parking waiver applies from open to close Nov. 26. You can find a complete directory of parks that normally require day-use permits on the Oregon State Parks website, but a few popular locations around the metro area include Silver Falls State Park, Champoeg State Heritage Area and Stub Stewart State Park.
There’s at least one property on that list, though, that will remain off-limits to the car-driving public for the foreseeable future.
Following heavy rains that triggered mass flooding, Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach remains closed due to damaged roads. A sinkhole and fissure formed during those Nov. 12 downpours, and staff temporarily shut down the park.
Oregon Parks and Rec says it continues to evaluate the best way to repair the damage, and that process is likely to take several weeks or longer.
“The road has taken a beating over the years from stormy coastal weather, erosion and heavy traffic,” says park manager Ben Cox. “We want to thank visitors for their patience while we make the necessary repairs to allow safe passage.”
Visitors can actually still access Ecola via the Tillamook Head Trail, but if you’re not up for the trek, the agency recommends heading to nearby Oswald West State Park, Arcadia Beach and Hug Point.