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Free camping and day use on Saturday, June 4 for State Parks Day

May 25, 2016

State parks throughout Oregon invite the public to camp and play for free Saturday, June 4 in celebration of State Parks Day.

Camping is free the night of June 4 in traditional sites -- full hookup (sewer, electricity and water), electrical hookup (electricity and water), and tent sites. Parking is free both June 4 and June 5 at the 26 parks that charge a day-use parking fee.

Campsite reservations may be made by calling 800-452-5687 before 5 p.m. June 3. Or, reserve online at www.oregonstateparks.org. While the campsite rental is free, an $8 nonrefundable reservation fee still applies. Of the 52 state park campgrounds, 42 take reservations.

"State Parks Day is our way of thanking Oregonians for their commitment to our state parks," said Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director Lisa Sumption. "We invite Oregonians to come out and explore a new park or visit an old favorite."

The Oregon State Legislature established Oregon State Parks Day in 1997 to focus public attention on Oregon's state park system. The event is always the first Saturday in June.

Parks throughout the state will host activities including guided hikes--Saturday, June 4 is also National Trails Day--plus open houses, tours, special barbecues and guest appearances by J.R. Beaver, Oregon State Parks mascot.

Silver Falls State Park east of Salem will have free refreshments, a guided waterfall tour and its annual Foot Race Challenge, with a 5K, 6-mile and kids' race. Stub Stewart State Park west of Portland will host a volunteer work party in the morning, followed by free lunch at Hilltop Day-use Area, a guided bike ride, scavenger hunt, skins and skulls display and more. See a fur trappers' encampment at Champoeg State Heritage Area. Walk among the tents and work stations, ask questions of the interpreters and watch demonstrations of trapping, shooting, cooking and packing for the fur trade.

Visitors will also be able to fish, crab and clam without a license June 4-5 for Oregon's Free Fishing Weekend, hosted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). ODFW will provide the gear, bait and instructions at parks around the state, including Benson State Recreation Area in the Columbia River Gorge and Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park and Fort Stevens State Park on the coast. Other free fishing events are listed at www.dfw.state.or.us/education/angling/free_fishing.asp.

For a complete list of events, go to oregonstateparks.org and click on "Things to Do" or go to http://bit.ly/OPRDcalendar