From coast to desert, Oregon is packed full of amazing places to explore. Check out these 12 wondrous, lesser-known state parks to experience the unique beauty of the Beaver State:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
12. Oswald West State Park
Located south of the iconic Cannon Beach, Oswald West State Park is an amazing nature area on the Oregon Coast that's full of picturesque scenery, old growth forests, hiking trails, hidden beaches, vast coastal views, and more.
11. White River Falls State Park
White River Falls State Park is a gorgeous hidden gem located near the Typh Valley in Wasco County. It's a great place to picnic, hike, visit an abandoned hydropower plant, and explore the stunning White River Falls.
10. Harris Beach State Park
Harris Beach is a unique stretch of coastline near Brookings. The tranquil landscape is dotted with incredible sea stacks, and there's a wonderful campsite beside the beach where you can fall asleep listening to the sound of waves crashing nearby.
9. Wallowa Lake State Park
Located at the base of the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon, Wallowa Lake is a spectacular body of water surrounded by mountain peaks. It's a great summer destination, where you can camp, hike, fish, swim, boat, and more.
8. Cascadia State Park
Located in Linn County, Cascadia State Park is home to incredible hiking trails, campsites, woodsy scenery, the South Santiam River, Lower Soda Creek Falls, and more.
7. Fort Stevens State Park
Located on the northwestern tip of Oregon, Fort Stevens State Park is a truly one of a kind place. This oceanside state park is full of history and natural beauty. It's home to an incredible shipwreck (pictured above) and an abandoned military fort, as well as numerous hiking trails, a campsite, and expansive, breathtaking scenery.
6. Cape Lookout State Park
As its name insinuates, Cape Lookout State Park is packed full of breathtaking views. Located in Tillamook County, this waterfront state park also has beaches, amazing hiking trails, a campground, picturesque bluffs, and more.
5. Tumalo State Park
Located in Central Oregon near the city of Bend, Tumalo State Park is a perfect destination for a day trip or overnight getaway. You can view waterfalls, fish, hike, swim, camp, and more.
4. Ecola State Park
This amazing state park is made up of a nine-mile expanse of the Oregon Coast, in which you'll unforgettable hiking trails, sandy coves, mountaintop views, tide pools, and more.
3. Nehalem Bay State Park
Rimmed to the north by Neahkahnie Mountain, Nehalem Bay State Park is a wondrous place where you'll find rolling sand dunes, a campsite, pristine beaches, an amphitheater, and of course, amazing ocean views.
2. Cottonwood Canyon State Park
Cottonwood Canyon State Park is a little known Oregon destination located in north central Oregon. The park is centered around a unique high desert canyon formed over the years by the beautiful John Day River. It's a great place for fishing, hiking, and more, and it just so happens to be the second biggest state park in Oregon.
1. Shore Acres State Park
Shore Acres State Park is a wonderful place that you have to see to believe. The two main elements of the park are the marvelous, intricately manicured botanical garden, and the rocky shoreline where you'll find truly breathtaking views.