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COVID-19 Response: State Forest Recreation ​Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

All trailheads, trails (including OHV), day use areas, target shooting areas, and forest roads remain open. Limited camping is available, while some areas remain closed for the safety of the community and due to limited staff capacity. The Santiam State Forest​ is closed due to wildfire damage. Please visit the recreation list for COVID-19 updates on specific recreation sites.​

​The public should not plan to visit the Santiam in 2020. Over half of the fire was in the footprint of 2020 wildfires, and windstorm damage is still on the landscape in other areas. Here you can see damage and learn more about the scale of recovery efforts needed to safely re-open portions of the forest. Re-openings will occur in phases, and heavily damaged areas are likely to be closed for years.​

These campgrounds will not open during the 2020 season. Reservations are not being accepted for this year. ​​

Reservations can be made online for Northrup Creek Horse Camp​. Santiam Horse Camp is not available for reservations due to wildfire damage. ​

Visitors holding reservations will be notified by email if your reservation is cancelled or modified. If visitors need to cancel, the standard refund policy applies.  
 
If you do not see your refund within 10 business days of receiving notification that your cancellation is processing, please contact us at 800-551-6949 or park.info@oregon.gov​.​​

Please visit the Public Fire Restrictions page for current fire restrictions. 

All decisions about reopening follow recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority and are based on these main points:

  • Where can we open without straining nearby communities?
  • How can we keep visitors and staff as safe as possible, given reduced services and staffing?
  • How can we keep facilities clean, allow for adequate physical distancing, and continue many other operational duties?
In order to re-open a campground, these general conditions must be met:
  • Public health guidelines (OHA established) for the county must be met
  • The local community must agree
  • We have enough staff, supplies and equipment to safely open and operate at a minimum level
In order to keep a facility or campground open, these general conditions must be met:
  • The number of visitors stays below capacity
  • Visitors cooperate and comply with state rules
  • Visitors respect COVID-19 precautions such as physical distancing

Due to increased safety precautions, staffing capacity is limited. Please know that service levels may be reduced and not what you may be used to. Visitors should plan for the following service reductions/changes:

  • Some restrooms may be closed
  • Signs posted to remind visitors to avoid group gatherings, reminders to wear a mask, etc.
  • Firewood will not be for sale
  • Campfire restrictions may be in place

Recreate responsibly

​Keeping popular outdoor areas sanitary and safe from fire is critical. Here’s how you can recreate responsibly:

Before you go

  • If you’re ill, stay home.
  • Plan your visit for an area close to home.
  • Please visit and travel with members of your household rather than extended circles.
  • Prepare for your visit with food, water, clothing, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, mask and knowledge to have a safe visit.
  • Consider visiting during off-peak times (weekdays rather than weekends) if possible.
  • Have alternate options if your designation is crowded. Visit the Oregon Department of Forestry Recreation pag​e for options.
  • Check your local fire regulations​ if allowed, build campfires only in sites with existing rings or pits.

During your visit

  • If a place is crowded, keep moving to another location.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not from your household. Further apart is better.
  • Wear a face covering when physical distancing of 6 feet is not an option.
  • Bring hand sanitizer or soap and water – while some restrooms are open, most are vault toilets and do not have running water.
  • Leave no trace: Be prepared to pack out what you pack in, and bury any human waste where restrooms are not available. Please do not make someone else clean up your poop!
  • Stick to low-risk activities to reduce stress on local emergency response and health care systems.
  • Watch for signs in the forest for more information.
  • Watch our Recreate Responsibly video​

State forest recreation does not operate with any general fund tax dollars. State forest operations are funded through timber harvest, user fees, and donations. Please consider donating to the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust​.

 

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