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Cottonwood Canyon State Park hosts grand opening celebration and tour of the new Experience Center on Sep. 18, 2018

Aug. 31, 2018

CONDON, Ore — The public is invited to tour a new education center and four cabins at Cottonwood Canyon State Park from 1-4 p.m. Sep. 18, 2018.


The grand opening celebration will include presentations, a ribbon cutting and a tour of the new facilities, which include a 1,500-square foot Experience Center that will serve as a classroom for outdoor education and a reservable event space. The $2.5 million project also includes four cabins and a new restroom facility with showers.


“We are so excited to open these facilities to the public,” said Cottonwood Canyon Park Manager Iris Benson. “The Experience Center and cabins will truly enhance Oregon’s second-largest state park for the local community and all Oregonians.”


Cabins will be completed and ready to reserve at oregonstateparks.org by late fall 2018. The Experience Center will be open for reservations in spring 2019, with priority given to educational and nonprofit groups. The center includes an indoor meeting room with capacity for 69 people and an outdoor kitchen and lawn area with space for outdoor seating.


The Experience Center was designed in part to support Eastern Oregon University’s Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute, a week-long residential field study course for high school students held each June. It was largely built thanks to donors and fundraising by the private nonprofit Oregon State Parks Foundation, which contributed $600,000 in money and donated products.


Located 50 miles southeast of The Dalles, Cottonwood Canyon’s 8,000 acres straddle the John Day River. Oregon’s second largest park features a small, year-round primitive campground on the banks of the river, as well as trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The park is also known for its fishing and access to hunting outside the developed park area.