Oregon’s Growing Park System
Oregon has a long history of great parks. To keep that tradition alive, in the year 2004 the governor at the time, Ted Kulongski, proposed a Park-a-Year initiative. The initiative has held, resulting in some great additions to their park system.
Stub Stewart State Park is located in the coastal mountains just outside of Portland. This 1,700 acre park includes a 20-plus mile trail system which is well used by hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. There are also two full service family campgrounds.
Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site sits in the Willamette Valley west of Interstate 5. This preserved flour mill allows self-guided tours of the facilities. The tours include a look at the process and history of the community mill. Visitors will enjoy the picturesque setting and a glimpse into the role the mills played in the culture of the area.
Kayakers make good use of the Beaver Creek State Natural Area which opened in 2010. It sits along Oregon’s central coast. Kayaks and canoes can explore the creek-threaded marsh. During the summer months, the marsh trails are dry enough for use. There is much to see here in terms of wildlife. Bird enthusiasts can spot blue herons, ospreys, bald eagles, swallows and more. Visitors also can spot elk, deer, beaver, bears and cougars.
These are just a few of the parks that are growing to maturity within the Oregon parks system. The variety of parks across the state give visitors the opportunity to experience the state’s varied terrain, wildlife and beauty.
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