MEDFORD, Ore.-- Most trails, campgrounds, and recreation sites accross the state closed under the Governor's Stay Home order. As most of the state is in phase one, many of those sites are slowly reopening.
Oregon State Parks
On May 5, Governor Kate Brown announced an immediate "limited reopening" of the state's outdoor recreation areas.
Among the first to reopen was Lost Creek Lake near Shady Cove. Since, then most areas managed by Oregon State Parks have at least partially reopened in southern Oregon.
The Parks Department created an interactive map for people see what's opening completely, where they'll find reduced services, and which ones are still closed.
As of May 21, camping is still not allowed in state parks. The Parks and Recreation Department said its working on a plan to reopen campgrouns at some parks starting June 9.
Details are still being worked out. The Department plans to relase which sites will be oepning by the end of May.
Some local counties chose to close parks under the Stay Home order.
At the beginning of May, Jackson County Parks rolled out a plan to start reopening parks. It's been ongoing for weeks.
Boat ramps at many of the parks were the first to reopen. Since then, most day-use and campgrounds have reopened.
The campgrounds at Emigrant Lake Oak Slope, Howard Prairie Resort, and Willow Lake reopened May 21.
Some facilities will be closed for the entire summer. This includes Emigrant Lake Waterslide, Howard Prairie Resort restaurant and store, and campgrounds at Grizzly, Willow Point, Sugar Pine, and Klum Landing.
Josephine County parks stayed open for day use. Campgrounds, restrooms, showers, playgrounds, and sports courts did close under the Governor's order.
The parks have since started reopening camping, including RV Sites, tent sites, and yurts. According the Josephine County Parks facebook page, the restrooms are open again. Shower facilities are closed until further notice.
Curry County manages two parks: Boice Cope Park and Lobster Creek Camp.
The county announced one of the campgrounds would be opening earlier this month. Boice Cope Park is taking overnight reservations for camp sites. Lobster Creek near Agness is closed until further notice.
There's still no camping allowed at Klamath County parks, according to its website. The parks are open for day use. Hagelstein Park is currently closed.
Southern Oregon is home to millions of acres of National Forest land. Many of the developed sites, trails, and facilities closed when the Governor first issued the Stay Home order. They're now slowly starting to reopen.
Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest
The Forest Service is preparing to open some recreation facilities in time for the primary outdoor recreation season in Oregon.
“We are working hard to reopen developed recreation sites in anticipation of the summer recreation season," stated Michelle Ahearn, Forest Recreation Program Manager. “Reopening facilities has been a significant challenge for outdoor recreation providers this year.”
Many day use sites will be open in time for Memorial Day Weekend. Some facilities like restrooms and drinking fountain may not be available.
Visitors are asked to call the local ranger station. As of Thursday afternoon, the Forest Service said the website was having technical difficulties updating site status. It will soon be available.
Fremont Winema National Forest
The Fremont-Winema National Forest is also reopening recreation sites. The sites are a blend of day use areas, boat ramps, and campgrounds.
The Forest Service says staff has been evaluating sites over the past several weeks. They've been testing water, removing hazard trees, restoring signage and checking on facilities.
Several sites are still inaccessible due to snow.
Visitors are encouraged to call the ranger station or check the Forest Service website to check a site's status before visiting.
Crater Lake National Park is still closed. The park closed to the public on March 24 following Governor Brown's order. Park staff have still been working to maintain and patrol the park.
There is no estimate on when it will reopen.
Before you go
Oregon Health Authority says that park visitors should expect a different state park experience than they are used to. Before you go, you should prepare by:
• Staying home if you’re sick.
• If visiting, staying local and close to home, meaning less than 50 miles in urban areas.
• Only visiting with members of their household.
• Bringing all supplies—food, water, hand cleanser—needed for a short trip.
Oregon Health Authority also says if a park appears crowded, you should leave and come back another time. If you do happen to find a safe spot, you should follow these guidelines:
• Wear a face covering. Homemade is fine.
• Stay at least 6 feet away from people who aren’t from your household. More is better.
• Cover your cough with a tissue (then throw it away), or the inside of your elbow.
• Leave no trace: Pack out everything you bring with you.
• Stick to low-risk activities to reduce stress on local emergency response and health care systems.
• Keep your visit short. Restrooms and other buildings may be closed.
• Watch for signs at the park for more information.