The project office is located at the Eugene, Ore. Federal Building, 211 E. 7th St., Ste. 480
Eugene, OR 97401-2773. Office hours are 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

General: 541-684-4300
Recreation: 541-942-5631

Email the Willamette Valley Project

The Willamette Valley Project pamphlet

Life jackets and water safety

Cormorants on East Sand Island

 

Life jackets are available during the summer months at certain sites. Visit project sites or contact parks for detailed dates of operation. 

Life jackets are available on a first come, first serve basis.

For a list of life jacket loaner stations, click here.

Visit our water safety page for more safety tips.

Visit our water safety page for more information.
Visit our water safety page for more information.

Willamette Valley Project recreation

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 in one of our many Willamette Valley, Oregon locations: Big Cliff, Blue River, Cottage Grove, Cougar, Detroit, Dexter, Dorena, Fall Creek, Fern Ridge, Foster, Green Peter, Hills Creek, or Lookout Point.

 

Big Cliff recreation

Birding: Big Cliff Dam is located three miles downstream from Detroit Dam, and is a designated stop along the Mt. Jefferson section of the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail. This trail is a self-guided auto tour of nearly 200 prime birding destinations in the Oregon Cascades. Large trees and snags along the shoreline provide roosts for osprey, while hardwood forests around the reservoir provide for neotropical migrant songbirds.

Boat ramp: The boat ramp at Big Cliff Reservoir is permanently closed to vehicle traffic.

 

Blue River recreation

Camping: The U.S. Forest Service operates three recreation facilities at Blue River Dam & Reservoir: Mona Campground, Lookout Creek Boat Ramp and Park and Saddle Dam Boat Launch. For more information call the McKenzie River Ranger District Office at 541-822-3381.

 

Cottage Grove recreation

Alcohol ban: 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.

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

• Pine Meadows developed campground
This developed campground has 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 with a life jacket loaner station. No hookups available.
Open: mid May - mid Sept.
Fees: $24 per night per site; 2 vehicles included. No extra vehicles permitted, please plan accordingly.
Reservations: Go to Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.

• Pine Meadows primitive campground
This is a minimally-developed campground with 15 individual campsites, vault toilets, drinking water, gravel roads, picnic tables, fire rings, no hookups and no showers (primitive sites are reserved as Pine Meadows Campground sites A-O).
Open: mid May - mid Sept.
Fees: $16 per night, per site; 2 vehicles included. No extra vehicles permitted, please plan accordingly.
Reservations: Go to Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.

Birding: The reservoir is a designated stop along the Big River Loop of the Willamette Valley Birding Trail. This trail is a self-guided driving tour that includes 138 birding hotspots. Visitors can see rare birds like the purple martin, the willow flycatcher and the yellow-breasted chat near Cottage Grove Lake. Osprey and purple martins nest in structures maintained by the Corps.

Day-use parks: 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 mid May - mid Sept. and are closed daily from dusk until 8:00 a.m. There is no fee for day-use areas and there are no group picnic areas or shelters available for reservations. For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at (541) 942-5631.

• Lakeside Park: Located on London Road just past the dam, Lakeside 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 and has a life jacket loaner station.

• Riverside Park: On the east bank of the river, downstream from the dam, Riverside Park is a minimally developed area with 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 is available.

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

 

Cougar recreation

Birding: The project encompasses almost 5,000 acres and the uplands are managed primarily through an agreement with the Willamette National Forest. The reservoir is a designated stop along the Three Sisters section of the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail. This Trail is a self-guided auto tour of nearly 200 prime birding destinations in the Oregon Cascades. American peregrine falcons have been observed around the cliffs above the lake.

Camping: Recreation facilities at Cougar are operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Call the McKenzie River Ranger office at 541-882-3381 or click one of the links for more information: Echo day-use area; Slide Creek Campground; Sunnyside Campground; French Pete Campground; or Delta Campground.

 

Detroit recreation

Birding: The lake is a designated stop along the Mt. Jefferson section of the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail. This Trail is a self-guided auto tour of nearly 200 prime birding destinations in the Oregon Cascades. This area provides songbird habitat in its hardwood stands, while osprey use lakeshore snags and trees as roosts and nesting sites and waterfowl including common mergansers nest at the lake.

Camping: Four recreation sites at Detroit are operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Call the Detroit Ranger Station at 503-854-3366 or click one of the links for more information: Cove Creek Campground; Hoover Campground; Piety Island Campground; or Southshore Campground.

Two recreation sites at Detroit are operated by Oregon Parks and Recreation. Call either the park office at 503-854-3406, the State Parks Information Center at 800-551-6949 or click one of the links for more information: Detroit Lake State Park; or Mongold day-use area. Mongold day-use area also has a life jacket loaner station* available.

*Loaner life jackets may not be available due to COVID-19. Be prepared and bring your own.​

 

Dexter recreation

Birding: Dexter lake and shoreline lands total about 1,300 acres. The northeast shoreline provides a mosaic of quality wildlife habitat that supports migratory and resident songbirds, osprey and eagles. The reservoir is a designated stop along the McKenzie Loop of the Willamette Valley Birding Trail. This trail is a self-guided driving itinerary that includes 138 birding hot-spots.

Day-use parks: Dexter lake has three day-use parks.
• Orchard Park, is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and has no associated fees.
Open: mid May - mid Sept.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 group picnic areas or shelters available for reservations. For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

•Dexter Park and Lowell Park are operated by Oregon State Parks.
Call the Oregon State Parks office at 541-937-1173 or click one of the links for more information:Dexter Park; or Lowell Park. Lowell Park also has a life jacket loaner station* available.

*Loaner life jackets may not be available due to COVID-19. Be prepared and bring your own.​

 

Dorena recreation

Alcohol ban: 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.

Birding: With more than 2,400 acres, the Dorena Lake project provides habitat for a variety of wildlife and plants. The reservoir is a designated stop along the Big River Loop of the Willamette Valley Birding Trail, a self-guided driving tour that includes 138 birding hot-spots. Visitors can see rare birds like the purple martin, the willow flycatcher and the yellow-breasted chat near Dorena Lake. Osprey and purple martins nest in structures maintained by the Corps.

Day-use parks: Dorena Lake has two day-use parks operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both parks have no associated fees and are open year-round from dawn to dusk.

• Bake Stewart 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 trails, bike racks, vault toilets, and picnic tables. A gravel trail connects the park to the paved Row River Trail managed by Bureau of Land Management.

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

Camping:
• Schwarz Campground
Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has 82 campsites including 6 group sites, paved roads, flush toilets, showers, dump station, campfire rings, picnic tables, gate attendants and children's play area. No hookups available.
Open: mid April - mid Sept
Single Camp Site Fees: $22 per night; 2 vehicles included. No extra vehicles permitted, please plan accordingly.
Double Camp Site Fees: $44 per night; 4 vehicles included. No extra vehicles permitted, please plan accordingly.
Group Camp Site Fees: $150 per night; up to 25 vehicles per group at any one time, up to 15 of which can be camper units.
Schwarz also has a life jacket loaner station available.
Reservations: Go to www.recreation.gov. or call 1-877-444-6777. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.

• Baker Bay Park
Operated by Lane County Parks.
Call the Lane County Parks Department in Eugene, OR at 541-682-2000. The Baker Bay concessionaire may be reached at 541-942-7669. Baker Bay also has a life jacket loaner station available.

Hiking: The Row River Trail offers more than five miles of trails bordering Dorena Lake, and is open to hiking, biking and horseback riding. 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. For more information, call the Bureau of Land Management at 541-683-6600.

 

Fall Creek recreation

Project Description:

Fall Creek Dam is located on Fall Creek, a major tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River, one mile 
upstream of Unity, Oregon and 25 miles upstream of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon. Fall Creek Dam is 
a 205-foot tall, 5,050-foot long rockfill earthen embankment dam with a concrete spillway, two spillway gates, 
and a regulating outlet. Fall Creek Dam is owned, operated, and maintained by the Portland District of 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Construction of the dam began in 1964 and was completed in 
1965.  Fall Creek Dam is part of a system of 13 multi-purpose dams in the Willamette Valley with the 
primary purpose of flood risk management and secondary purposes of recreation, irrigation, municipal 
and industrial water supply, fish and wildlife, conservation, water quality, and hydropower. Collectively, 
this system of dams is referred to as the Willamette Valley Project (WVP). Fall Creek Dam is one of four 
WVP dams that does not include a powerhouse.

During the winter months, the Willamette Valley Project reservoirs are maintained at their lowest 
elevations to allow for the temporary storage of rain and snow melt. When managing high flow events, 
the outflow from the system of dams is coordinated to reduce peak flows and river stages at 
downstream locations. In spring, USACE begins to fill the reservoirs, increasing the amount stored for 
conservation purposes and reducing the amount of storage available for flood risk management.  During 
summer, stored water is used for recreation on the reservoirs, and some stored water is released in the 
river downstream to improve water quality, support fish and wildlife habitat, and provide water for 
irrigation and municipal uses. During dry summer months, flows into the reservoirs are generally less 
than flows needed to meet minimum flow objectives, causing reservoir levels to drop. In fall, stored 
water remaining in the reservoir is drawn down to minimum levels in preparation for the flood season.  
Fall Creek Dam is located about 70 miles east of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a megathrust fault along 
the Oregon Coast. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is capable of producing very large, long duration 
earthquakes. The last Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake occurred in the year 1700.    

Risk Characterization: 

High.  USACE completed a routine risk assessment for the Fall Creek Dam in October 2014 that characterizes the risk associated with the dam to be High.  USACE performs risk assessments as part of an ongoing dam safety program and to assist in the prioritization of investment for aging infrastructure.  The risk assessments evaluate the life safety risks associated with the dams to determine if risk reduction actions are needed and, if so, what actions should be taken.  The assessment considers a wide range of hazard scenarios from the most likely to the most extreme and unlikely. The 2014 assessment concluded that the risk at Fall Creek Dam is driven by the high population downstream two possible, but very unlikely events: 1) an extreme earthquake occurring at the same time reservoir elevations are the highest or 2) an extreme flood event that fills the reservoir at a rate faster than the dam can pass water through the spillway.  An extreme earthquake could cause the 
rockfill earthen dam to settle and crack, resulting in water overtopping and flowing through the dam. It 
is difficult to predict the exact amount of settlement and cracking that could occur to the dam as a result 
of such an earthquake. The speed and depth of water flowing over and through the damaged dam could 
erode the soil and rock that forms the dam and cause significant flooding downstream. The strong 
shaking from an earthquake could also damage the spillway’s concrete structure and gates. The 
assessment also determined that fallen trees and woody debris floating in the reservoir could partially 
block the spillway gates during an extreme and unlikely rainfall event. The partial blockage of the 
spillway gates from the debris could reduce or prevent passage of flow through the dam, which would 
cause the reservoir to rise above and flow over the top of the embankment dam. As water flows over 
the top of the dam, the speed and depth of the water could erode the soil and rock that forms the dam. 
Because Fall Creek Dam is located upstream of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon, there is potential for 
devastating flooding to affect large downstream populations in urban areas and surrounding suburbs, as 
well as rural communities in the floodplain.  
USACE is confident that the Willamette Valley dams are well-built, well-maintained, and will continue to 
significantly reduce flood risks for the region. However, the dams cannot eliminate potential for 
flooding. Even with the presence of the Willamette Valley dams, extreme rainfall and snowmelt events 
may result in flooding in areas downstream of dams.  Flooding can be caused by high flows resulting 
from unregulated portions of the watershed and/or high flow that must be passed through the dam 
outlets and spillways when reservoir storage capacities are exceeded.  

Risk Management Measures:

The likelihood is very low for an extreme earthquake or extreme flood resulting in a breach of the dam 
to occur, but the potential impacts of a dam failure are very high due to the large downstream 
population. Therefore, Fall Creek Dam will enter an advanced risk assessment called an Issues Evaluation 
Study (IES) starting in 2021 to further evaluate the dam’s performance during extreme seismic and flood 
events. The study will also determine whether short-term targeted measures (called Interim Risk 
Reduction Measures) or long-term modifications are necessary to reduce the risk.  USACE regularly 
conducts routine inspections of its dams and Fall Creek Dam is equipped with instrumentation to 
monitor dam performance and seismic activity. Post-earthquake procedures are in place to inspect and 
evaluate earthquake damages and USACE conducts routine dam safety exercises with local Emergency 
Managers and first responders. Fall Creek Dam’s Emergency Action Plan (EAP) outlines actions to be 
taken during an emergency. USACE will update the EAP based on advanced assessment results and 
information from updated inundation maps. In addition, USACE will continue and increase its outreach 
to improve community awareness of flood risks and risks associated with the dam.  

Recreation:

Day-use parks: Fall Creek Lake has one day-use park operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It  has no associated fees and is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Tufti Park a minimally developed day use area with Fall Creek access, a gravel parking lot, hiking trail and vault toilet. For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

Five day-use sites at Fall Creek are operated by Oregon Parks and Recreation: Winberry Creek Park, North Shore Park, Free Meadows, Lakeside I & IICall either the park office at 541-937-1173 or the State Parks Information Center at 800-551-6949. 

Camping: Two campgrounds at Fall Creek are operated by Oregon State Parks: Cascara Campground and Fisherman's Point Campground. Call the Oregon State Parks Department 541-937-1173 for more information. Cascara also has a life jacket loaner station* available.

One campground at Fall Creek is a private camp for educational purposes: Sky CampThe caretaker can be reached at 541-937-3355.

*Loaner life jackets may not be available due to COVID-19. Be prepared and bring your own.​

 

Fern Ridge recreation

Boaters: Click here to view Fern Ridge's water surface elevation map.

Birding: The Fern Ridge area is an excellent location for birding. Oregon’s largest breeding colony of purple martins can be found at Fern Ridge. Thousands of acres of emergent marsh support summer breeding habitat for a variety of water-bird species. Read more about purple martins: Corps reservoirs benefit Willamette Valley Swallows.

Day-use parks: Fern Ridge Lake has three day-use park operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They have no associated fees. 

Kirk Park is located below Fern Ridge Dam off Clear Lake Road and gives access to the Long Tom River and ponds full of fish and wildlife. There are no group picnic areas or shelters available for reservations. Kirk Park has trails, picnic tables, paved roads, fire rings and vault toilets. Kirk Park is open dawn to dusk, mid-May to early September. Shore Lane Park is located at the end of Shore Lane Road on the northeast shore-line of Fern Ridge Lake.  This small, rustic park has a vault toilet and it is often used for launching paddle craft.  Shore Lane Park is open dawn to dusk, mid-May to early September. Jeans Park is located on Jeans Road on the west side of Fern Ridge Lake near Veneta. This wooded park has trails, vault toilets and limited parking. It is open year-round. For more information about the above parks, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

Four day-use sites at Fern Ridge are operated by Lane County Parks: Orchard Point Park, Perkins Peninsula Park, Richardson Park and Zumwalt ParkCall Lane County Parks at 541-682-2000 or visit their website. Richardson Park also has a life jacket loaner station available.

Three day-use sites at Fern Ridge are privately operated. Eugene Yacht Club, Fern Ridge Shores (or call 541-935-2335) and Tri-Pass Ski Club (541-935-1495).

 

Foster recreation

Project Description
Foster Dam is located on the South Santiam River approximately 30 miles upstream of Albany, Oregon. Foster Dam is a 126-foot tall, 2,985-foot long rockfill earthen embankment dam with a 400-foot long concrete spillway, four spillway gates, a concrete non-overflow section, and a powerhouse. Foster Dam is owned, operated, and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Construction of the dam began in 1964 and was completed in 1968. Foster Dam is part of a system of 13 multi-purpose dams in the Willamette Valley with the primary purpose of flood risk management and secondary purposes of hydropower, recreation, irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, fish and wildlife,  and water quality. Collectively, this system of dams is referred to as the Willamette Valley Project. 

During the winter months, the Willamette Valley Project reservoirs are maintained at their lowest elevations to allow for the temporary storage of rain and snow melt. When managing high flow events, the outflow from the system of dams is coordinated to reduce peak flows and river stages at downstream locations. In spring, USACE begins to fill the reservoirs, increasing the amount stored for conservation purposes and reducing the amount available for flood risk management.  During summer, stored water is used for recreation on the reservoirs, and some stored water is released in the river downstream to improve water quality, produce hydropower, support fish and wildlife habitat, and provide water for irrigation and municipal uses. During dry summer months, flows into the reservoirs are generally less than flows needed to meet minimum flow objectives, causing reservoir levels to drop. In fall, stored water remaining in the reservoir is drawn down to minimum levels in preparation for the flood season. Foster Dam is downstream of Green Peter Dam.   

Foster Dam is 75 miles east of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a megathrust fault along the Oregon Coast. Cascadia Subduction Zone, a megathrust fault along the Oregon Coast. The Cascadia Subduction Zone can produce very large, long duration earthquakes. The last Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake occurred in the year 1700. 

Risk Characterization: High
As of May 2021, results of the advanced study for Foster Dam identified the risk associated with the dam to be High. USACE performs risk assessments as part of an ongoing dam safety program and to assist in the prioritization of investment for aging infrastructure.  The risk assessments evaluate the life safety risks associated with the dams to determine if risk reduction actions are needed and, if so, what actions should be taken.  The assessment considers a wide range of hazard scenarios from the most likely to the most extreme and unlikely.  USACE is conducting advanced risk assessments, called Issue Evaluation Studies (IES), at several Willamette Valley Project dams including Foster Dam   

The risk is primarily driven by the high population downstream of the dam combined with two possible, but very unlikely events: 1) an extreme earthquake occurring at the same time reservoir elevations are the highest or 2) an extreme flood event.  According to the study, the shaking from an extreme earthquake could cause the spillway gates and concrete supports on either side to become damaged. If this occurs when the reservoir is at its highest, the cracked and damaged spillway may no longer be able to hold back water, allowing a high volume of water to flow through the spillway and cause flooding of areas downstream.  The study also determined that an extreme and very unlikely rainfall event could result in release of higher volumes of water through the dam than the gated spillway was designed to pass. The force and speed of the water flowing out of the dam could damage and erode the concrete lining in the spillway channel, exposing the underlying foundation rock that may be susceptible to erosion if subjected to very high flows. The continued force and speed of the water could erode the rock and destabilize the concrete structure itself.  A sudden release of water could result from the destabilized concrete structure’s lost ability to hold back the forces of the reservoir, causing significant downstream flooding.  Another different scenario could occur if the extreme rainfall event instead fills the reservoir at a rate faster than the spillway is able to pass flow through the dam. Fallen trees and woody debris floating in the reservoir could partially block the spillway gates during the rainfall event, further limiting the amount of water that can pass through the spillway gates and allowing the reservoir to rise above the top of the embankment dam. As water flows over the top of the dam, the speed and depth of the water could erode the soil and rock that forms the dam. As the soil and rock continue to erode, more water is released over and through the dam at greater speeds and depths, causing significant flooding downstream. Because Foster Dam is located upstream of Sweet Home and Lebanon, there is potential for flooding to affect large downstream populations in the floodplain areas.  

USACE is confident that the Willamette Valley dams are well-built, well-maintained, and will continue to significantly reduce flood risks for the region. However, the dams cannot eliminate potential for flooding. Even with the presence of the Willamette Valley dams, extreme rainfall and snowmelt events may result in flooding in areas downstream of dams.  Flooding can be caused by high flows resulting from unregulated portions of the watershed and/or high flow that must be passed through the dam outlets and spillways when reservoir storage capacities are exceeded.  

Risk Management Measures
The likelihood is low for an extreme earthquake or an extreme rainfall event to occur, but the potential impacts of a dam failure are high due to the large downstream population. USACE continues to evaluate the performance of the spillway during earthquake and flood loads using advanced computer modeling of the dam’s concrete and gated structures to better understand if and how much the spillway could become damaged. This will help inform whether the potential damages from extreme earthquake or flood loads continue to drive risk at the project, and whether short-term targeted measures (called Interim Risk Reduction Measures) or long-term modifications will be necessary to reduce risk. USACE also continues to study the likelihood of an extreme rainstorm that would be large enough to cause damaging spillway flows.  USACE continues to regularly conduct routine inspections of its dams and Foster Dam is equipped with instrumentation to monitor dam performance and seismic activity. Post-earthquake procedures are in place to inspect and evaluate earthquake damages and USACE conducts routine dam safety exercises with local Emergency Managers and first responders. Foster Dam’s Emergency Action Plan (EAP) outlines actions to be taken during an emergency. USACE will update the EAP based on recent risk assessment results and information from updated inundation maps. In addition, USACE will continue and increase its outreach to improve community awareness of flood risks and risks associated with the dam. 

View more details about Big Cliff Dam at the National Inventory of Dams website.

RECREATION
Day-use parks: Foster Dam has one day-use park operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is open year-round and is free to use. Amenities include vault toilets, picnic tables, barbecue grills and a paved boat ramp with access to the South Santiam River below the dam. For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

Two day-use sites at Foster Reservoir are operated by Linn County Parks: Lewis Creek Park and Sunnyside ParkFor more information call Linn County Parks at 541-967-3917 or visit their website

Boat Ramps: Linn County Parks operates two boat ramps at Foster: Gedney Creek Park and Calkins Ramp. For more information call the Linn County Parks Department at 541-967-3917 or visit their website.

CampingLinn County Parks operates two campgrounds at Foster Reservoir: Edgewater County Park and Marina, and Sunnyside ParkFor more information call the Linn County Parks Department at 541-967-3917 or visit their website.

 

Green Peter recreation

Boat Ramps: Linn County Parks operates two boat ramps at Green Peter Reservoir: Thistle Creek Boat Ramp and Whitcomb Creek ParkFor more information call the Linn County Parks Department at 541-967-3917 or visit their website.

CampingLinn County Parks operates two campgrounds at Green Peter Reservoir: Whitcomb Creek Park and a group camping area - Mile Post 16, Quartzville Road, near Trout Creek. For more information call the Linn County Parks Department at 541-967-3917 or visit their website. Boat-in campsites on the banks of Green Peter Reservoir are closed except at the Upper Whitcomb Boat-in Camp Area managed by Linn County Parks.  For more information on boat-in camping, visit the Linn County Parks and Recreation website.  Roadside camping has been permanently closed. Other improvements will be implemented as funding becomes available.

 

Hills Creek recreation

Birding: At more than 5,500 acres, the Hills Creek Dam and Reservoir provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including several rare species. The reservoir is a designated stop along the Three Sisters section of the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail, a self-guided auto tour of nearly 200 prime birding destinations in the Oregon Cascades.

Camping, picnicking & boating: Recreation facilities at Hills Creek are operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Call the Middle Fork Ranger District Office at 541-782-2283 or click on one of the links for more information: Bingham Boat Ramp; Cline - Clark Picnic Area; C.T. Beach Picnic Area; Packard Creek Campground; or Sand Prairie Campground.

 

Lookout Point recreation

Day-use parks: Lookout Point Reservoir has one day-use park and one day-use boat ramp operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both areas have no associated fees but have varying operating time frames. Meridian Park is on the north side of the dam on West Boundary Road. It includes a gravel road and parking area, a vault toilet, picnic tables and a boat ramp with a courtesy dock but ramp access is limited by seasonal water levels. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. until dusk, mid May - mid Sept. Signal Point Boat Ramp is on West Boundary Road, 4.9 miles upstream from the dam and 6.3 miles from Lowell. It includes a paved parking lot, a vault toilet and low-water-level paved boat ramp with courtesy dock. For more information about either facility, call the Willamette Valley Project Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

Camping: 
Ivan Oakes Campground
Operated by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Ivan Oakes is a semi-primitive campground that offers 24 single family campsites. Campsites have picnic tables and fire rings. Vault toilets and potable water are available.
Open: mid May - mid Sept
Fees: $16 per night, per site; 2 vehicles included. 
No extra vehicles permitted, please plan accordingly.
Reservations: Go to www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.

 

 

Rules, policies and related information

Reserving campsites: Search for and reserve available campsites at Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Campsites can be reserved up to 180 days in advance. Note: not all recreation sites take reservations.

Hunting guidelines: 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.

Information about hunting at Applegate project should be obtained from local U.S. Forest Service offices. Rifle hunting is allowed in designated areas at Elk Creek and Lost Creek reservoir, with restrictions.

Willamette Valley Hunting Guidelines and Maps

Geocaching policy: In general, geocaching can be a fun and appropriate recreational activity at Corps projects, provided the security or missions of the project are not compromised. It provides an opportunity for positive interactions and partnerships with local groups involved in this activity. Monitoring of web sites, communication and participation with these groups can form healthy relationships with benefits to all involved. Working with these groups can prevent problems and promote the Corps as a willing partner. Regulation should be based on common-sense needs of specific projects or areas, with a minimal permitting burden on the recreating public. Read more about the policy here.

Anchor safely: These five steps will help you to anchor safely:

  1. Use anchor lines that are 5-7 times the depth of the water.

    1. Use a float for the anchor line to serve as a buffer and to reduce the risk of getting the anchor line tangled in the propeller.

    2. Lower, do not throw, the anchor to avoid tangles in the line.

    3. Anchor only off the point of the bow. Anchoring off the stern or the side will capsize your boat.

  2. Power upstream of anchor before retrieving it. Maintain position in line with the flow of the current while retrieving anchor. Turning cross-wise to the current increases the risk of capsizing.

  3. Rivers can become turbulent with little or no warning. You are advised to wear a Coast Guard-approved Personal Flotation Device at all times. Also, take precautions against hypothermia. River temperatures can range from 70 degrees in the summer to near freezing during the winter.

  4. River users are reminded that although it is legal to anchor in the channel, it is illegal to block the right-of-way of a vessel that is restricted to using the channel.

  5. Five blasts of the horn signify danger, and you must take action to avoid that danger.

For more tips, visit the Corps of Engineers National Water Safety website. Click here for a print version of this information.

Fee collection and comparison: 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 $5 launch fee per day, which is valid at any Corps-managed recreation site for day it was purchased.

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.

Seaplanes on Corps lakes: 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.

Volunteering: If you're enthusiastic about the outdoors, enjoy meeting new people and want to protect parks, then sign up to be a volunteer! Click here for a listing of current volunteer opportunities at Portland District Park and Corps sites across the country.

Drone policy: For both safety and security reasons, the operation of aircraft, including drones (formally known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems) may not be operated within 500 feet of operational areas at Corps projects. This includes land with structures such as dams. Click here for the complete District policy memo.

Weather and water levels: 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. Know before you go!

Reservoir and water levels

Northwest River Forecast Center

National Weather Service

Questions about any guidelines should be directed to:

Bonneville Lock and Dam, 541-374-8344

The Dalles Lock and Dam, 541-506-8475

John Day Lock and Dam, 541-739-1135

Rogue River Basin Project, 541-878-2255

Willamette Valley Projects, 541-942-5631