County campgrounds reopening today, with caveats


Officials have announced that, beginning today (May 21), five county campgrounds — Archie Knowles, Armitage, Harbor Vista, Richardson and Baker Bay — will allow restricted reopenings, offering modified camping to would-be recreators.

While campsites will be available for reservation, the county is operating under the Guidelines for Outdoor Recreation issued by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and a number of precautions and restrictions have been put in place to ensure safe reopening and continued use of facilities by visitors.

These include:

• Restricting access to gathering areas within the parks (showers included)

• Additional cleaning and sanitation of high-touch areas like public restrooms

• Bilingual signage at highly visible locations,

• Some individual campsites remaining empty to assure proper distancing

• Use of approved cleaners and disinfectants in restrooms.

In addition, each campground will also have site-specific modifications and campers are being informed to not co-mingle families in the same campsite and, instead, rent separate sites for each family.

Lane County officials stated that they “have created a plan that balances the safety of campers while providing a place for people and families to enjoy the outdoors.”

In related news, Douglas County Parks sites remain open and as of Thurs., May 19 the following campgrounds will offer additional recreation opportunities, such as tent camping, non-self-contained recreational units and some cabin and yurt use:

• Charles V. Stanton County Park Campground

• Chief Miwaleta County Park Campground

• John P. Amacher County Park Campground

• Mildred Kanipe Memorial County Park Campground

• Pass Creek County Park Campground

• Whistler’s Bend County Park Campground

Despite their being open, safety guidelines remain in place at all Douglas County Parks facilities and officials remind visitors to stay home if sick, maintain physical distancing of minimum six feet, wear masks if possible and be prepared to bring their own soap, hand sanitizer, towels, toilet paper and disinfectant wipes.

Guests are also reminded that campground amenities will not be sanitized and are to be used at visitors’ discretion with safety precautions in mind. Restrooms and showers will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m..

Of particular interest to residents of South Lane County is the reopening of Baker Bay campground at Dorena Reservoir. Camping reservations can be made, but visitors should note that, as part of Baker Bay’s site-specific changes, concessions, picnic areas, the playground and shower facilities will remain closed. Group campgrounds and tent camping will also not yet be an option during this phase of reopening. 

To the extent possible, Lane County is asking visitors to reserve campsites before arrival in order to have occupant contact information on file should it be necessary in the future for contact tracing in the event of COVID-19 infections.

As an additional precaution, campground staff have been provided with personal protective equipment — cloth masks and gloves — in order to safely conduct their work and make sure parks remain open during this transitionary time.

For more information or to make reservations, visit www.LaneCountyOR.gov/parks or call 541-682-2000. For questions about Douglas County Parks, call (541) 957-7001 or email [email protected]

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