Oregon State Park day-use pass on sale until April 30
Apr 01,2009 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources
Twelve-month Oregon state park day-use passes are now on sale at a discounted price until April 30.

Normally priced at $25, the discounted pass costs $20. "You could say it's our annual springtime stimulus to start people thinking about enjoying the outdoors and their parks this summer," said Richard Walkoski, recreation programs manager for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. "For sure, it gives folks who missed the December holiday sale another chance to take advantage of a good deal."

Day-use passes are honored at 26 Oregon state parks that charge day-use fees. These parks include heritage sites as well as some of the state's most popular destinations for hiking, bicycling, picnicking and other outdoor fun.

Walkoski singles out Champoeg State Heritage Area, Willamette Mission State Park, Ecola State Park and Fort Stevens State Park as places of special interest during the state’s sesquicentennial year. "Historical events happened at those places that you read about in school. Some of these events eventually led to statehood."

Champoeg, 27 miles south of Portland, preserves the site where, in 1843, settlers voted to establish a pro-American provisional government. The park's visitor center includes a renovated museum area with new interactive exhibits and living history presentations planned for the summer.

Willamette Mission, eight miles north of Salem, occupies the location of the northwest's first mission for Native Americans. It was founded in 1834 by Methodist missionaries led by the Reverend Jason Lee.

Ecola State Park, two miles north of Cannon Beach on the north coast, is famed for its spectacular views for hikers, who also can trace a route to the shoreline used by Corps of Discovery explorers led by Captain William Clark. Fort Stevens, 10 miles west of Astoria, has a historic military area with a museum to commemorate the fort's defensive position at the mouth of the Columbia River from the Civil War through World War II.

A complete list of day-use fee parks is online at oregonstateparks.org (click on "day-use parks" in the left column).

The 12-month pass, and a 24-month pass that is always on sale for $40, may be purchased at all Joe's sports stores, major Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) offices, several Friends' group interpretive stores and selected local businesses and chamber of commerce visitor information centers throughout the state. A list of vendors is posted on the OPRD website (click on "Day-use passes," then on the vendor link). Passes also may be purchased by phone and charged to a VISA or MasterCard by calling the State Parks Information Center, 1-800-551-6949.