Update: The governor issued an executive order March 23 telling Oregonians to stay at home, and state parks are now closed. “Individuals may go outside for outside recreational activities (walking, hiking, etc.), but must limit those activities to non-contact, and are prohibited from engaging in outdoor activities where it is not possible to maintain appropriate social distancing (six feet or more between individuals). ”
Since the events and happenings calendar is pretty sparse in light of the COVID-19 restrictions, here are some things you can do outside this early spring while maintaining appropriate health precautions. Check for more directions to these areas and possible restrictions online.
Mount Pisgah Arboretum — Check out the spring wildflowers as you meander by the river, in the water garden, or through the forest and savannahs in this section of the Howard Buford Recreation Area.
Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System — Walk, jog or bike along the Willamette River for miles! A favorite spot for wildlife viewing is at Delta Ponds north of Valley River Center, and the Owen Rose Garden starts budding soon.
Thurston Hills Natural Area — Check out the trails at one of the area’s newest parks on the east end of Springfield.
Dorris Ranch and Middle Fork Path — From the wildflower-lined trails in this historic homestead near downtown Springfield you can bike, jog, or walk four miles to Clearwater Park.
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge — Several trails wind through the refuge’s diverse habitats off of Hwy 99 south of Corvallis. Great for bird-lovers!
Brice Creek — The trail along Brice Creek, 25 miles southeast of Cottage Grove, is a crowd pleaser for forest lovers, and accessible year-round.
Sweet Creek Falls — Spring flowers, budding trees and plenty of waterfalls can be found here, south of Mapleton off of Hwy 126.
Hobbit Trail & Beach — From just north of the Heceta Head Lighthouse on Hwy 101, hike a mile through a magical forest to one of the central coast’s nicest beaches.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area — Explore rolling sand dunes and coastal forests along the ocean, with several access points from Florence to North Bend.
Blue Pool — You might find a little snow at Blue Pool, aka Tamolitch Pool but this time of year is perfect for checking out the two-mile trail to this upper McKenzie River attraction without the crowds of summer. — Chandra LeGue