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Portland District recreation in the Willamette Valley

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the largest provider of water-based outdoor recreation in the nation. Portland District's recreation sites allow visitors of all ages to enjoy biking, hiking, boating, fishing, camping, hunting, windsurfing and more. Whatever your favorite outdoor activity, one thing is certain: recreation can enrich your life. Visit one of our recreation areas to connect with nature and create unforgettable memories. With more than 90 percent of our recreation areas located within 50 miles of a city or town, there is likely to be a Corps site near you. We invite you to visit us!

Life jacket loaner stations

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Pine Meadows Campground swim beach

Location: 75166 Cottage Grove Reservoir Rd., approximately 9 miles south of Cottage Grove, Ore.

 

Lakeside Park boat ramp

Location: approximately 6 miles south of Cottage Grove, Ore., off London Rd. 

 

Wilson Creek Park swim beach

Location: off Cottage Grove Reservoir Rd., approximately 10 miles south of Cottage Grove, Ore. 

Mongold Day Use Area boat ramp

Location: approximately 45 miles east of Salem, Ore., off Hwy. 22.

Lowell Park boat ramp and marina

Location: approximately 20 miles southeast of Eugene at 850 N. Shore Dr., approximately 1 mile west of Lowell, Ore.

Schwarz Campground near bulletin board at campground entrance

Location: approximately 5 miles east of the city of Cottage Grove at 34909 Shoreview Dr., Cottage Grove, Ore.

 

Baker Bay campground boat ramp

Location: approximately 7 miles east of the city of Cottage Grove at 35635 Shoreview Dr., Dorena, Ore.

Cascara Campground boat ramp

Location: approximately 30 miles southeast of Eugene, Ore., off Peninsula Rd.

Richardson Park boat ramp

Location: approximately 14 miles west of Eugene, off Clear Lake Rd. at 25950 Richardson Park Rd., Junction City, Ore.

Life jackets are available seasonally (i.e., during summer months); contact parks for detailed dates of operation.

Willamette Valley recreation

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The boat ramp at Big Cliff Reservoir is permanently closed to vehicle traffic.  The ramp can be used to launch small boats if they can be carried to the water.  For more information, visit here.

 

These recreation facilities at Blue River are operated by the U.S. Forest Service; for information about these locations, call the McKenzie River Ranger District Office at 541-822-3381, or click the links below:

Mona Campground (http://go.usa.gov/gwp)

Lookout Creek Boat Ramp and Park (http://go.usa.gov/gwd)

Saddle Dam Boat Launch (http://go.usa.gov/gww)

Update: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers implemented an alcohol ban at Cottage Grove and Dorena lakes to improve recreation quality, public and employee safety, and resource allocation and protection.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates all parks at Cottage Grove Lake.

Pine Meadows Campground:
Open: May 19 - Sept. 11, 2017*
Developed, with 85 campsites, paved roads, flush toilets, showers, dump station, campfire rings, picnic tables, gate attendants, children's play area and a marked but unsupervised swim area. (No hookups)
Fees:

  • $20 per night per site
  • $6 per day, per extra vehicle
*(last night to camp is Sept. 10)

Primitive Campground:

Open: May 26 - Sept. 4, 2017**

Minimally-developed campground with 15 individual campsites, vault toilets, drinking water, gravel roads, picnic tables, fire rings, no hookups and no showers.
Fees:
  • $14 per night, per site
  • $6 per day, per extra vehicle  

(Primitive sites are reserved as Pine Meadows Campground sites A-O.)

**(last night to camp is Sept. 3)


Day-Use Parks:
No fee for day-use areas. Cottage Grove Lake has four day-use only parks, three on the lakeshore and one on the river immediately below the dam.  All are open May 12-Sept. 10, and are closed daily from dusk until 8:00 a.m. There are no reservable group picnic areas or shelters.

Lakeside Park is located on London Road just past the dam.  The park has paved roads and parking lots, flush toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings.  There is a boat launch ramp with a courtesy dock located near the entrance to the park.  The boat ramp is open year-round.

Wilson Creek Park is on Reservoir Road at the southwest end of the lake, and has paved roads and parking lots, flush toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, a children's play area and an unsupervised swim area.  A boat launch ramp with a courtesy dock is near the park's entrance.

Riverside Park is on the east bank of the river, downstream from the dam. This minimally developed park has a gravel road and parking area, two picnic tables and a vault toilet.  A paved path with pull-outs suitable for wheelchairs is close enough to the river for fishing.  No drinking water available.

To make reservations, call the National Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777 or go to www.recreation.gov.
For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at (541) 942-5631.

 

America the Beautiful Senior Pass or Golden Age Passport
The America the Beautiful Senior Pass or Golden Age Passport enables persons 62 or older and persons accompanying them in a single, private vehicle to camp at all federal fee campgrounds for half price.  These cards apply to boat launch and individual campsite fees. Users of group areas are entitled to discount only if all camping units individually qualify for the cards.

America the Beautiful Access Pass or Golden Access Passport 
The america the Beautiful Access Pass and Golden Access Passport will enable persons who are blind or permanently disable to camp at a ll federal fee campgrounds at half price. These cards apply to boat launch and individual campsite fees (for 18 years old and over). 
Golden Age and Golden Access Passports are no longer issued but will be honored.


America the Beautiful Senior Pass or Golden Age Passport

The America the Beautiful Senior Pass or Golden Age Passport enables persons 62 or older and persons accompanying them in a single, private vehicle to camp at all federal fee campgrounds for half price.  These cards apply to boat launch and individual campsite fees. Users of group areas are entitled to discount only if all camping units individually qualify for the cards.

America the Beautiful Access Pass or Golden Access Passport 

The america the Beautiful Access Pass and Golden Access Passport will enable persons who are blind or permanently disable to camp at a ll federal fee campgrounds at half price. These cards apply to boat launch and individual campsite fees (for 18 years old and over). 

Golden Age and Golden Access Passports are no longer issued but will be honored.


Recreation facilities at Cougar are operated by the U.S. Forest Service. For closure status or other information about these locations, contact the McKenzie River Ranger office at 541-882-3381, or click on the links below:

There are no Corps-operated parks at Detroit Lake, but the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State Parks operate several recreation areas around the lake.

U.S. Forest Service-operated areas:
Four parks on Detroit Lake are operated by the U.S. Forest Service. For information about these parks, contact the Detroit Ranger Station at 503-854-3366 or click the links below:


Areas operated by Oregon State Parks:
Detroit Lake State Park and Mongold day use area are operated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For closure status or other questions, call the park office at 503-854-3406, the State Parks Information Center at 800-551-6949 or visit the Oregon State Parks web page at http://www.oregonstateparks.org/

Orchard Park (day-use only):
No fees. Open May 12-Sept. 10, 2017, and closed daily from dusk until 8:00 a.m. This minimally developed park is located on the northeast end of the lake and includes a vault toilet and picnic tables. There are no reservable group picnic areas or shelters.

For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

 

The recreation areas listed below are operated by Oregon State Parks; for information about these, contact Oregon State Parks office at 541-937-1173, or visit the Oregon State Parks web page at http://www.oregonstateparks.org/ :

  • Dexter Park
  • Lowell Park
  • Schwarz Campground:
    Open: April 28 - Sept. 11, 2017*

    Fees:

    • $18 per night per site
    • $6 per day, per extra vehicle
    • $36 for double sites

    Developed, with 82 campsites, paved roads, flush toilets, showers, dump station, campfire rings, picnic tables, gate attendants, and children's play area. (No hookups.)

    Six group campsites are available.

    Fees and vehicle limitations:

    • $150 per night
    • Up to 25 vehicles per group at any one time.
    • Up to 15 vehicles can be camper units.
    *(last night to camp is Sept. 10)

    To make reservations, call the National Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777, or go to http://www.recreation.gov

    Day-use parks:

    No fee for day-use areas. All are open May 12-Sept. 10, and are closed daily from dusk until 8:00 a.m. There are no reservable group picnic areas or shelters.

    For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at (541) 942-5631.

    Harms Park: Open year-round. This park is a minimally developed day-use area which includes a boat ramp, paved parking area, vault toilet, picnic tables and access to the Row River Trail. There is no fee for use of the boat ramp, but ramp access is limited by seasonal water levels.

    Bake Stewart Park: Open May 10 - Sept. 8, 2013. This park is located at the southeast end of the lake where the Row River enters the reservoir. It is a minimally developed day use area with gravel roads, vault toilets, and picnic tables. This park closes daily from dusk until 8 am during the recreation season.

    Questions about Corps-operated parks should be directed to the Willamette Valley Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

    Lane County Parks operates Baker Bay Park (camping and day use); questions about Baker Bay Park should be directed to the Lane County Parks Dept. at 541-682-2000 (in Eugene). The Baker Bay concessionaire may be reached at 541-942-7669.

    The Bureau of Land Management operates Row River Trail; for more information, contact Eugene District Bureau of Land Management at 541-683-6600.
    More than five miles of the Row River Trail borders Dorena Lake. The trail can be accessed near the lake at Dorena Dam, Row Point and Harms Park trailheads. The trail begins in Cottage Grove and continues for 14 miles, with several trailheads providing multiple opportunities for short trips and shuttling options. The trail is open to hiking, biking and horseback riding.

    Tufti day-use area: Open all year, closed daily from dusk to 8:00 a.m., no fee.
    This minimally developed area includes:

    • Fall Creek access
    • gravel parking lot
    • hiking trail
    • vault toilet

    For more information about this day-use area, call the Corps at 541-942-5631.

    *These seven parks are managed by Oregon State Parks and may be open; for more information, call (541) 937-1173 or visit the Oregon State Parks web page at http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_241.php:

     

    Privately operated:
    Sky Camp is a private resident camp for educational purposes. The caretaker can be reached at (541) 937-3355.

    Boaters: Fern Ridge water surface elevation map

    Kirk Park (day-use only):
    No fee for day-use area. Open May 12-Sept. 10, 2017, and closed daily from dusk until 8:00 a.m. Located below the Fern Ridge Dam off Clear Lake Road, Kirk Park provides access to the Long Tom River and ponds full of fish and wildlife. Amenities include vault toilets, paved roads, picnic tables, fire rings, trails, and a fishing dock. There are no reservable group picnic areas or shelters.

    Birding:
    The Fern Ridge area is an excellent location for birding.

     

    The following four parks on Fern Ridge Lake are operated by Lane County parks may be open: 

    • Richardson Park
    • Orchard Point Park
    • Perkins Peninsula Park
    • Zumwalt Park

    For more information about these parks, please contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000 or visit the Lane County Parks web page.

    *These recreation areas leased by private organizations may be open:

    Andrew S. Wiley Park is a day-use park, and provides access to the South Santiam River below Foster Dam. The park is open year-round and includes flush and chemical toilets, picnic tables, barbecue grills, and a paved boat ramp. There is no fee to use this area. 

    For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

    These areas are operated by Linn County Parks at Foster Lake:

    For more information about these parks, contact the Linn County Parks Department at 541-967-3917.

    Privately-operated facilities at Foster Lake:
    Shea Point is a viewpoint and day-use area off Highway 20, on the south side of Foster Lake. The area includes flush toilets, interpretive displays and a paved shoreline trail. For more information, call Edgewater RV Resort and Marina at 541-818-0431 or go to http://www.edgewateroregon.com/.

    The following areas are operated by Linn County Parks:

    For more about these parks, contact the Linn County Parks Department at 541-967-3917.

    Changes to Quartzville Corridor Recreation:

    The Corps and Linn County Parks completed a plan in 2011 to improve the quality and safety of recreation at Green Peter Reservoir. The entire Green Peter Reservoir Recreation Plan is available here.

    Phase I of the plan includes expanding and improving Whitcomb Creek Campground, developing reserveable campsites at Trout Creek, and eliminating roadside camping on Corps land along Quartzville Road to Mile Post 17.2 just past Trout Creek.

    Roadside camping has been permanently closed, effective April 1, 2014. Other improvements will be implemented as funding becomes available.

    The parks on Hills Creek Lake are operated by the U.S. Forest Service:

    *Questions about these parks should be directed to the Middle Fork Ranger District Office in West Fir, Oregon at 541-782-2283.

    Ivan Oakes Campground:
    Open: May 26 - Sept. 4, 2017*
    First-come, first-serve availability.
    *(last night to camp is Sept. 4)


    Fees:

    • $14 per night per site
    • $6 per day, per extra vehicle
    Signal Point boat ramp (day-use only):
    Open year-round, there is no fee to use this boat ramp, located on West Boundary Road, 4.9 miles upstream from the dam and 6.3 miles from Lowell. This area includes a paved parking lot, a vault toilet and a low-water-level paved boat ramp with a courtesy dock.

     

    Meridian Park (day-use only):
    Open daily from dusk until 8:00 a.m., May 12 - Sept. 10. This park is located at the north side of the dam on West Boundary Road. The park includes a gravel road and parking area, vault toilet, picnic tables and a boat ramp with a new courtesy dock.This ramp may be unusable in late summer depending on water levels. There are no reservable group picnic areas or shelters. There is no fee for the day-use area.

    For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-684-4300.

    How to check availability and make reservations*

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    Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  

    National Recreation Reservation Service logoThe National Recreation Reservation Service lets users seek available campsites and make reservations.*

    Campsites can be reserved up to 240 days in advance and group facilities up to 360 days in advance. Call toll-free 1-877-444-6777 or go to http://www.recreation.gov.


    *(Note: not all recreation sites take reservations)

     

    Rules, policies & related

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    Beginning in January 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will implement an alcohol ban at Dorena and Cottage Grove lakes to improve recreation quality, public and employee safety, and resource allocation and protection.
    Click here to read more about the alcohol ban.

    Day-use fees, including boat ramp and dump station fees, will be collected while parks are available for camping. No fees are collected during park closure dates. Some boat ramps outside fee campgrounds will charge a $3 launch fee per day, which is valid at any Corps-managed recreation site for day it was purchased.

    Some designated swim beaches outside fee campgrounds may charge a use fee of $1 per person over the age of 12 or in a vehicle up to $4. However, if a vehicle has more than 8 passengers over the age of 12, there will be a fee of $1 for each additional individual over the age of 12.

    All fees have been set to maintain comparable fee schedules with other federal, state, county and private campgrounds. All fees meet the requirements set in Engineering Publication 1130-2-550. Fee comparability within the same state and district is outlined in Paragraph 9 of EP 1130-2-550.

    Cottage Grove Reservoir:

    • Pine Meadows reservation campground fee: $18 per night, $6 per day per extra vehicle.
    • Wilson Creek day use site fee for the boat ramp: $3 per day
    • Lakeside day use site fee for the boat ramp: $3 per day
    • Primitive reservation camping fee: $12 per single site

    Dorena Reservoir:

    • Schwarz reservation campground
    • $16 per night per site
    • $6 per day per extra vehicle
    • $32 for double sites
    • $140 for group site
    • Senior or access discounts may apply EXCEPT at group sites

    Lookout Point Reservoir:

    • Ivan Oakes no-reservation campground
    • $12 per night for single campsite
    • $6 for visitors (per day, per vehicle)

     

    All rules and regulations for the public use of Corps lands are described in Title 36, Chapter III, Part 327. The following document provides more detailed information specific to hunting on Corps lands within the Portland District. Hunters should be aware that some of the lands surrounding Corps reservoirs are managed by other County, State, and Federal agencies and different guidelines may apply. Hunters are responsible for recognizing private land boundaries and should not hunt on private land without permission of the landowner.

     

    The following guidelines apply to all Corps-managed lands:

    1. All Oregon State hunting regulations should be followed when hunting in Oregon.  All Washington State hunting regulations should be followed when hunting in Washington.

    2. Hunting is not permitted in developed recreation areas including but not limited to campgrounds, picnic areas, boat launch facilities, and parking lots, even when these recreation areas are closed for the season. Hunting in the lakebed near recreation areas is permitted below the high water mark. Shot may not fall into developed recreation areas. 

    3. Firearms are not permitted within 400 ft. of concrete dam structures or powerhouses. 

    4. With the exception of the Rogue River Basin Project (see above) only shotguns and bow-hunting are permitted on Corps-owned lands. Only federally-approved non-toxic shot may be used, except for deer hunters using slugs or buckshot. 

    5. Trapping is permitted by special permit only at the following reservoirs: Cottage Grove, Dorena, Fern Ridge, Dexter, Lookout Point, Fall Creek, Hills Creek, Foster, and Green Peter. For trapping permits, contact Garrett Dorsey at the Corps of Engineers Fern Ridge office- 541-461-2869. 

    6. Target and clay pigeon shooting and “plinking” is prohibited. Air guns, bb guns, and paintball guns are not permitted. 

    7. Off-road use of motor vehicles is prohibited beyond established roads and barriers.

    8. Camping is permitted only in designated areas. Open fires are prohibited except in campground fire rings.

    9. All garbage generated during hunting activities (including shotgun shells) shall be removed from Corps lands.

    Questions about these guidelines should be directed to:

    Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office: 541-942-5631

    • Specific guidelines and maps for Fern Ridge Wildlife Area are available from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
    • Information about hunting at Cougar, Blue River, and Detroit Reservoirs should be obtained from local U.S. Forest Service offices.
    To print, download a pdf of the hunting guidelines.

    Hunting Maps

    The following maps are pdf files (about 1MB each) that can be downloaded for viewing or printing:
    Cottage Grove Reservoir
    Dorena Reservoir
    Dexter Reservoir
    Lookout Point Reservoir
    Hills Creek Reservoir
    Fall Creek Reservoir
    Foster Reservoir
    Green Peter Reservoir
    Seaplanes may be operated seven days a week between sunrise and sunset at all Portland District lakes with the exception of Big Cliff, Applegate and Willow Creek lakes. Once on the water seaplanes shall be considered powerboats and must be operated in accordance with marine rules of the road. Seaplanes in the water may taxi to any area of the lake subject to the powerboating restrictions for those lakes. For more information, see: Seaplane operations at Corps of Engineers lakes.

    If you're enthusiastic, enjoy new people and want to protect parks, then you might want to be a volunteer!

    Volunteer park hosts inform visitors, register campers, assist at entrance stations, conduct customer comment surveys, open and close parks, pick up litter, perform minor maintenance and support interpretive programs. Hosts live in the parks and inform Park Rangers about emergencies or visitor complaints. Volunteer hosts must work at least 20 hours per week, and stay in the park during certain hours to assist visitors as needed. In return, RV sites with full hookups are provided. Current Corps of Engineers openings are listed at the Volunteer Clearinghouse.


    Natural Resource Volunteers assist the Corps throughout the year with natural resource management activities. Volunteers are often recruited volunteers from the community for special events such as: Earth Day, SOLV Beach and Riverside Clean-Up, Down By the Riverside and National Public Lands Day. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church members, school groups, and other community groups have helped with litter clean-ups, trail work, non-native plant removal, habitat improvement and tree planting.


    For more about volunteer opportunities, please contact Willamette Valley Park Ranger, Ron Colletti, at 541-942-5631.

    The Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service and other agencies cooperatively gather and analyze data for current and projected future reservoir and river level information.

    Water and boat ramp elevations

    NWS: Northwest River Forecast Center

       EP 1165-2-316 outlines Title 36 rules and regulations for recreation at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers locations. (Click here for another format).