** updated 6/2/20 – we’ll keep updating this post if additional recreational closures happen and/or openings are announced **
How to enjoy our Central Oregon adventure playground during the COVID-19 pandemic
We can all agree that exercise and fresh air are a necessity for mental and physical health, so in light of recent recreational closures and to stay in alignment with the Oregon governor’s executive order for all residents to stay home and to follow social distancing measures, what does that mean for getting outside in the adventure playground that we live in here in Central Oregon?
Let’s start with what’s closed and what remains open right now:
- Oregon State Parks: Partially OPEN with several parks now open for limited day-use, including Deschutes River, Cottonwood Canyon. Visit the park map to see the status of all parks and available services and facilities, including hours of operation.
- Smith Rock State Park: Partially re-opening to locals only on 5/14/20
- Pilot Butte State Park: OPEN to pedestrians as of 5/5/30 (no vehicles)
- Cove Palisades State Park: Lake Billy Chinook Boat Ramp OPEN as of 5/5/20
- National Forests: Partially OPEN — The Deschutes National Forest has started opening campgrounds, and certain trailheads, day-use areas, and boat launches. Others will open on a rolling basis as hazard trees are removed and snows melt at higher elevation sites.
- Crater Lake National Park: CLOSED
- Ski Resorts & Areas: Partially OPEN – Mt. Bachelor is offering existing 2019/20 passholders the opportunity to close down the season with some final spring turns.
- Sno-Parks: CLOSED
- Campgrounds: CLOSED — RV parks may remain open
- Campgrounds and all Oregon State Parks campgrounds: Some state park campgrounds to OPEN with limited services as of 5/29/20 – see the list here
- BLM: Partially OPEN — Update 5/19/20 – BLM is increasing recreational access to campgrounds, day-use facilities and restrooms. (Trails and open space are open)
- City of Bend Parks: OPEN — Recreation facilities are closed, including pools, skate parks, outdoor sports courts, and playgrounds
- Bend Park and Recreation District has modified operations due to COVID-19
- City of Redmond parks and trail systems remain open
Updates & Info:
UPDATE 5/20/20: DNF opening certain trailheads, day-use areas, and boat launches.
The Deschutes National Forest has started opening certain trailheads, day-use areas, boat launches and more. Others will open on a rolling basis as hazard trees are removed and snows melt at higher elevation sites. Please note that restrooms remain closed/unmaintained, there’s no garbage service, and everyone must still practice safe COVID actions. The DNF will update the list daily, here.
UPDATE 5/19/20: BLM begins to restore access to certain developed recreation facilities in Oregon.
Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities, the Bureau of Land Management is increasing recreational access to campgrounds, day-use facilities and restrooms. The BLM is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, and using a phased approach to increase access on a case-by-case basis. Visitors should expect differing levels of services and available facilities across Oregon. More information, a BLM district map, and contact info in the full press release.
UPDATE 5/5/20: Governor Brown announces limited opening of state recreational areas:
Governor Kate Brown announced the limited opening of some state parks, outdoor recreation facilities, and areas across Oregon for day use, effective today (5/5/20). Camping opportunities will become available as federal, state, local, and private providers are able to prepare their facilities for visitors. Ski resorts also will be able to resume activities under a new executive order that will be released soon. As this limited reopening occurs, it is essential that Oregonians recreate responsibly to protect the health, wellness, and safety of themselves and others in local communities. Reopening outdoor recreation areas will be a phased approach as it becomes safe. More information and tips on how to stay safe while recreating can be found in the Governor’s press release.
Oregon State Parks: Limited day-use will slowly return to other state parks starting the week of May 11 based on the readiness of the community around the park to welcome visitors, and how prepared the park is with staff, supplies, and equipment. State parks will open and close with little advance notice; updates will be posted online at oregonstateparks.org or call 800-551-6949 (Mon-Fri, 8a-5p) and should be checked before visiting. (Read more here)
Bend Park and Recreation District: Parks and trails remain open with temporary use and social distancing rules, but playgrounds, sport courts and skateparks closed. Additionally, all BPRD facilities are closed at this time, including Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, Bend Senior Center, The Pavilion, Art Station, District Office, and Park Services.
City of Redmond: Public restrooms at Redmond Parks are closed (except Downtown Park and Watershed Park). All City of Redmond facilities are closed until April 30, 2020- with all classes, activities and rentals canceled during this time. Parks and trail systems remain open, but all sports fields, playgrounds, sports courts, picnic shelters, and Edge Skate Park are closed.
Central Oregon Emergency Information Network: Outdoor Recreation Options Clarified – Public Cooperation Needed Now: The following applies for public lands in Central Oregon (see PDF chart): Outdoor Recreation Guidelines
Where to get outside right now – at a distance
We can still get outside for fresh air and exercise, you just need to stay closer to home and continue with social distancing measures:
- Enjoy an urban hike or bike ride around your neighborhood — learn more about the City of Bend’s Stay Healthy Streets pop-up Neighborhood Greenway routes
- Use trails and paths at nearby parks vs. driving across town or beyond
- Trails and open space remain open (but not trailheads), but do not drive there or park nearby
- Forest Service roads and singletrack trails are still open at this time
- Explore some of the thousands of miles of gravel road
- City of Bend parks and trails remain open with temporary use and social distancing rules
Social distancing outdoors done right:
- Use wide trails to stay six feet from others while passing and skip the narrow singletrack – some trails are still experiencing freeze/thaw soggy conditions and you simply can’t pass safely on singletrack without riding wide
- Visit less popular trails at less popular times – if you see many people, go elsewhere or at another time
- Offer a wide berth when passing and if approaching from behind, say a friendly “hello, passing on your left”
- Keep your dog on leash – no one needs a canine scuffle right now
- Go solo or only with members of your household only (no groups) – maintain 6+ feet physical distance
- Ride, walk, or run from your back door only – skip shuttling or carpools, or driving out to trails
- Wash hands before and after any visit to a park or trail
- Follow local and national guidance to wear cloth face coverings in public
- If you are sick, stay at home – do not use a park or trail
- Take it easy out there – the ER and Urgent Care Centers do NOT want more customers
Stay safe and stay healthy – outdoors and indoors
In a time of social distancing, we can still remain healthy and enjoy our beautiful outdoors; exercise is not only good for the soul, but the vitamin D is helpful for immune systems. And while we all love living in the adventure playground that is Central Oregon, please make smart decisions when outside and follow the social distancing guidelines and area closures. When the pandemic is over, and we’re back to ‘normal’, our mountains, rivers, lakes, trails, breweries, restaurants, and fantastic community will be here with open arms.
And when you’re not safely enjoying the great outdoors, please continue to support our local businesses from the comfort of couch — order takeout, curbside pick-up, delivery, or buy gift cards. We want our local business community to thrive during this time and beyond! We’re all in this together.
- Bend Trails – COVID-19 Trail Use Updates
- OregonTrails.org – COVID-19 Trail opening and closure updates
- Central Oregon Trail Alliance – Forest Service/BLM Closures & Restrictions
- Visit Bend – Bend and Central Oregon COVID-19 Information and Toolkit
- Bend Park & Recreation District COVID-19 Updates
- Central Oregon Daily – COVID-19 Closures & Cancellations
- Trail It Up in Bend, Oregon
** We’ll keep updating this post if additional recreational closures happen and/or openings are announced **