PARKING FEE WAIVED FOR ‘GREEN FRIDAY’ AT OREGON STATE PARKS

stormy day on the deschutes.JPG
News Release from Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Posted on FlashAlert: November 8th, 2017 4:18 PM

Oregon State Parks invites you to play for free on Nov. 24th in celebration of ‘Green Friday.’

The agency will waive day-use parking fees in 26 Oregon State Parks the day after Thanksgiving.

“We started this tradition three years ago to encourage people to opt outside,” said OPRD director Lisa Sumption. “Why not get some fresh air with your family and create a new holiday tradition?”

Parking is free year-round at almost all state parks; the waiver applies to the 26 parks that charge $5 daily for parking, including The Cove Palisades State Park. The waiver applies from open to close on Nov. 25, except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 3 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. A list of parks that require day-use parking permits is at OSPParking.

Fall at The Cove

Is there anything to do at The Cove once the summer season is over?  Most definitely!  In fact, fall can be one of the most magical times here at the park.  The cooler weather makes for a great time to hike the Tam-a-lau Trail.  You can access the trail from the Upper Deschutes Day Use Area and embark on a seven mile journey.  The initial climb, an elevation gain of 600 feet in the first mile, is worth it when you reach the top and see the spectacular views of the park this trail affords.  Who knows?  You might even find a pictograph along the way, but you are certain to see some huge rocks, and a sweeping view of Lake Billy Chinook that can’t be beat.

Prefer just to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the area?  Reserve a site at the Crooked River Campground, grab some extra blankets and wood, and enjoy the colors of fall as you watch the sun set over Mount Jefferson.  If you’re up for a short walk, you can take the Crooked River Wetlands Nature Trail, accessed from the boat and trailer parking area, which provides views of the first two ponds in our wetlands.  As you walk this easy quarter mile loop, you can see the bluebird houses and bat boxes built by Culver students. You never know what kind of wildlife you might encounter along the way.  For a slightly more adventurous hike, take the Rim Trail, and hike up to overlook 1.  This mile long trail is a moderate hike but at the top is a beautiful view of the Crooked River Canyon and the snow covered Cascades. (Use caution if there are snowy or icy conditions as trails can be slippery.)

As fall arrives, so does the wildlife.  This is a great time of year to see some of The Cove’s residents who prefer a bit less human interaction.  The Tam-a-lau and the Wetlands Trail are both good places to see wildlife.  In fact, just about any trail you wander along could afford you that opportunity.  Maybe take a stroll along the water and see if the river otters are out playing.  Or just find a nice, quiet, pretty spot to sit and relax and see what wanders along.

Don’t think that just because summer is over there’s nothing to do or see here at The Cove.  Come on out and take a look.  You just might surprise yourself.