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May 22, 2013
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Douglas County parks great fishing, waterskiing, disc golf, biking, hiking

What is your pleasure?

Riding ATVs across the dunes at the Oregon Coast or a peaceful horseback ride in the beautiful oak savannah forest of the Umpqua Valley? Maybe you enjoy great fishing, waterskiing, disc golf or picnicking along our gorgeous Umpqua River. All of these activities and more are available in our Douglas County parks.

The county’s park system, the state of Oregon’s first dedicated park system, offers a huge variety of recreational opportunities. The 52 parks include more than 4,500 acres of developed outdoor recreation sites.

Eight county campgrounds include nearly 300 campsites. Half Moon Bay campground near Winchester Bay is one of the only campgrounds on the coast with direct access to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Chief Miwaleta Campground adjacent to Galesville Reservoir in south Douglas County offers full hookup campsites in a beautiful lakeside setting.

If you are not set up for tent or RV camping, how about a cabin or yurt? Windy Cove in Winchester Bay has a cabin available at each campground, and in south Douglas County there are three cabins available at Chief Miwaleta Campground.

Perhaps you prefer the North Umpqua. Whistler’s Bend Campground near Glide has two yurts available for rent and is home to one of the most popular disc golf courses in Oregon.

Looking for a place for that class reunion, wedding or company picnic? Douglas County Parks has seven pavilions and one small community center (Helleck Hall) available for rent at various parks throughout the county. For your outdoor event, River Forks Park has the largest pavilion with seating for over 300 guests. A smaller pavilion at Singleton Park has a fireplace and a beautiful view of the North Umpqua River.

If you want to move your event inside, a more cozy atmosphere can be had at Helleck Hall near River Forks Park. That building has a full kitchen available for rent and is a perfect spot for that business meeting, office party, wedding reception or family reunion.

Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park east of Oakland has more than 1,000 acres of meadows, oak and conifer forests available for horseback riding and hiking as well as a day use picnic area. Some of the original buildings from Mildred Kanipe’s turn-of-the-century ranch are still standing and offer an interesting look into the history of the area.

Reservations can be made for all of the above by calling 541-957-7001 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reservations can be made online beginning late spring by visiting the Douglas County Parks website at co.douglas.or.us/parks/.

Due to reduced funding, the county parks division has closed a few parks/waysides in recent years: Cable Crossing, Carl C. Hill, Hill Creek, Jackson, Lone Rock and Smith Springs. Emile is no longer operated by the county, but is now being maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.

Be sure to follow the Douglas County Park Division on Facebook for updated park information and rate specials at facebook.com/DouglasCountyParks.

The park’s website also contains maps, available amenities and other information about the Douglas County Parks system.

Gary Groth is the director of Douglas County Parks and Lands Departments.

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The News-Review Updated Jun 5, 2014 06:15PM Published Jun 5, 2014 04:34PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.