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Fun Activities at Oregon State Parks

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Waterfall at Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Oregon has it all: glacier-carved mountains and volcanoes surrounded by dense evergreen forests, terrain sloping into rolling meadows and undulating prairies cross-cut by coursing rivers that open into a scenic, windswept coastline. The question isn't what can you do in Oregon. It's what can't you do.

Water enthusiasts should check out South Beach State Park, where you can participate in two-hour guided kayak tours down Beaver Creek. Tours are offered five days a week, and at $15 the price is right. If you really want to see some wildlife, opt for the Thursday evening tour. The beavers are especially active at dusk. Learn more about South Beach State Park and watch a short video about the kayak tours. You may also call (541) 867-6590 to make a reservation.

For campers and RVers who like hiking, rock climbing, and biking, Smith Rock State Park is a unique destination. Open campfires are prohibited, but there are specified locations for cooking with propane and gas stoves. If you can look past that restriction, this could be your new favorite retreat. There are thousands of climbing routes, as well as scenic hiking and mountain biking trails. Access to the park is cheap: $3 per day pass or $25 for a 12-month permit. Call (541) 548-7501 for more information.

A must-visit park for weekend warriors is Silver Falls State Park, tucked back in the Cascade Mountains. It is known for its bird watching, hiking trails, and ten waterfalls. On Friday, August 14th, the park rangers will be leading a wilderness survival course for youngsters at 11am and a wildlife hike for all ages at 8:30pm. The night of Saturday, August 15th there will be a special Star Party scheduled at the Old Ranch, where campers may star-gaze through telescopes while experts describe the celestial view. Call (503) 873-8681 for more information, or call (800) 452-5687 to make a reservation.

These suggestions should get you started on planning a fun road trip to Oregon. For more ideas, check out the Campgrounds section of Camping Road Trip.

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