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Recreation

Getting outside to fish, paddle, hike, camp, or boat can be healing. And, as a veteran, reduced rates and unique opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor recreation are available to veterans at state and national parks and on other public lands. Gold Star Families may also receive free access passes to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites.

 

ODVA has partnered with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon State Marine Board, and Oregon Parks and Recreation to bring you one resource to access recreation information. 

How to Get Started

Heading into the great outdoors? Oregon has such a wide variety to offer. If you're looking to organize a trip, here's how:

  1. PICK a place to go - whether a state park, recreation site, waterway, or wilderness.
  2. PLAN your trip with weather forecasts, recreation reports, and park status updates.
  3. PREPARE before you go, by learning whether you need licenses or permits and what safety equipment to bring.

And don't forget to subscribe to email updates for more recreation opportunities!

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Pick

  • State Park Finder - Use this interactive tool from Oregon State Parks to filter parks by activities, facilities, and operating status. Want a place to go birding? Reserve an RV Campground, or even a yurt? Or find ADA facilities? This is the place to start.
    • Park Status - This interactive map from Oregon State Parks shows which parks are open, closed, or have restricted facilities.
    • Recreation Site Status Map - This interagency map is frequently updated for Oregon's state and federal recreation areas.
  • Disabled Angler Access Map - Going fishing? Many of the more popular fishing locations across the state are accessible to anglers with disabilities. This map from ODFW is a guide to these areas.
  • Boat Oregon Online Maps (BOOM) - If boating is more your speed, the BOOM HUB is a collection of maps featuring boating access locations, motorboat restricted waterways, life jacket kiosk locations, and much more to keep you informed and safe on the water.

Plan

Prepare

  • Discounts abound for veterans - check ahead of time to obtain yours!
  • Licenses and Permits - make sure you have what you need before you go.
    • Waterway Access and Aquatic Invasive Species Permit - A Waterway Access Permit is required for non-motorized boats 10 feet and longer. Out-of-state motorized boats and sailboats 12 feet and longer are required to carry an Aquatic Invasive Species permit when operating in Oregon waterways.
  • Stay safe and abide by rules and regulations!
    • Boating Equipment and Regulations - Read this handy list from OSMB of what to have aboard your boat and other legal requirements.
      • Boater Education Card - All boaters who operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower (hp) and youths 12-15 years old operating a motorboat of any size are required to take an approved boating safety course and apply/carry a boater education card. 
      • Boater Safety Checklist - This checklist from OSMB will help you have a safe and enjoyable time on the water.
  • Watch the weather


Benefits and Programs

A free hunting and angling license for disabled war veterans with a federal VA-rated service-connected disability of 25 percent or more is offered through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Veterans must be Oregon residents for at least six months. Also, non-resident uniformed service members are able to hunt or fish in Oregon for the same cost as a state resident.

For more information: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: Hunters and anglers with disabilities

Service-connected disabled veterans can apply for this pass from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Passes are valid for four years and allow free year-round camping and day-use privileges at RV and tent sites at 26 Oregon State Parks.

For more information: Oregon State Parks: Special Access Pass

Active duty military members on official leave are eligible to be reimbursed for state park visits. After your visit, send the camping receipt for the dates of your stay, and a letter from your CO on official letterhead stating you were on leave for the dates you camped.

The refund request must arrive no later than 30 days after departure date of your stay. Send a receipt to Oregon State Parks Attn: Special Access Pass Program, 725 Summer St NE Suite C, Salem, OR 97301.

For more information: Oregon State Parks: Refunds for Active Duty Military on Leave

The America the Beautiful Parks Pass Series is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Included in this series are two passes that benefit current service members and disabled veterans. A free annual pass (normally $80) is available to active duty military, reserve and National Guard members and their dependents. A free access pass is also available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a permanent disability.

Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges, standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. 

You can obtain a pass in person, with proper documentation, from a participating federal recreation site or office.

For more information: USGS: National Parks and FederalRecreational Lands Pass​

Recreation Maps

​Oregon is recognized for its wide array of fishing opportunities and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) encourages persons with disabilities to experience fishing in Oregon. This means providing angling opportunities for everyone -- from the oldest adult to the youngest child and everyone in between, including people with disabilities. Fortunately, many of the more popular fishing locations across the state are accessible to anglers with disabilities. This map from ODFW is a guide to these areas.

For more information: ODFW: Disabled Angler Access Map
​This interactive map from the Oregon State Marine Board displays waterbody information and restrictions.​

For more information: ​OSMB: Nonmotorized & Electric Motor Only Waterways​​
​Oregon has a large number of post-fire recreation area closures across many land management agencies due to the 2020 wildfire season. There was a need for a 'one-stop-shop' map for the public to be able to understand where these closures are to help the public plan ahead, avoid closed areas, and recreate safely outdoors.​

Know before you go - this interactive interagency map shows the status of Oregon's state and federal recreation areas and is updated regularly.​​

For more information: ​OEM: Oregon's Recreation Site Status Map​​​ ​

​This interactive map from Oregon State Parks shows which state parks are open, closed, or have a reduction in services.

For more information: Park Status Map​


Did you know?

Veterans with a service-connected disability may camp for free at Oregon state parks with a special access pass.
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