How To Get Outside In Central Oregon During COVID-19

** updated 6/9/20 – 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 as we enter Phase 2:


  • Oregon State Parks: OPEN — Most state park facilities are open for day use, including Smith Rock State Park, Pilot Butte to pedestrians (no vehicles), and others. Limited camping will begin June 9 at some parks. Visit the park map to see the status of all parks and available services and facilities, including hours of operation
  • Bend Parks and Recreation: OPEN
  • City of Redmond parks and trail systems: OPEN
  • National Forests: OPEN — Many day-use areas are open. This includes picnic areas, boat ramps, trailheads, Sno-Parks, fire lookouts, and OHV areas in Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland. Areas that remain closed are being cleared from hazards and snow. Most sites will not have services, like garbage, and clean restrooms available. Be prepared to take out your own waste and bring water. If a site is closed, please go to a site that is open. No matter where you are recreating, please follow social distancing guidelines. Check with the Forest Service for the latest openings
  • Ski Resorts: CLOSED for the season
  • BLM: OPEN — Many campgrounds, restrooms and day-use facilities (i.e. locations with picnic areas and/or restrooms) will start to reopen on a case-by-case basis. Trash pickup and sanitation services will be phased back into operations but visitors should be prepared to pack out all trash. Trails and open space remain open.
  • Campgrounds: OPEN — RV parks are open. Deschutes National Forest is opening campgrounds in phases beginning Friday, June 5. Check with Deschutes National Forest for the latest campground openings. Limited overnight camping in Oregon State Parks will become available starting June 9. Check the park status map to verify what facilities and services are open in each park



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.


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** We’ll keep updating this post if additional recreational closures happen and/or openings are announced **



About Keeley Mannila

As the co-founder and owner of Fred Real Estate Group, Keeley is the driving force behind company culture, branding, and creative marketing strategy.