Marion County announces that its seasonal parks, which include Bear Creek Park and Campground, will open on May 1 for the 2018 summer recreational season.
Parks Coordinator Russ Dilley said, "We're looking forward to another busy summer at Marion County's parks. We've added seasonal staff to keep parks ready for visitors, and we're reminding visitors to be mindful of county park rules including bans on alcohol, smoking and glass containers, as well as the new parking fees along the North Fork corridor."
North Fork corridor parks
Bear Creek Park and Campground will open on May 1. The park is a 15-acre campground located between the Bureau of Land Management's Canyon Creek and Elkhorn Valley parks on North Fork Road. Bear Creek Park also provides day use access to the Little North Fork Santiam River. The park has 15 first-come, first-served camp sites and costs $14 per night with a 14-night maximum stay. Each of the camping sites has picnic tables and fire pits and accommodates one vehicle. A $5 fee applies to each additional vehicle. Campsite check-in is 4 p.m. and check out is 1 p.m. on the day of departure. The day use portion of the park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
North Fork and Salmon Falls parks also open on May 1. Both parks provide access to the Little North Fork Santiam River, include restrooms and picnic facilities, and are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Two emergency phones are now operational in areas where cell phone coverage is either unavailable or unreliable. One phone is located at the entrance to Salmon Falls Park and one phone is located at the Elkhorn Valley Fire Station. Both phones connect directly to 9-1-1.
In 2017, Marion County instituted a $5 daily parking fee for all vehicles that park on the side of North Fork Road and in county parks accessed from North Fork Road, including North Fork Park, Salmon Falls Park, Bear Creek Park day use parking and Lomker's Bridge day use area. Parking fee stations along North Fork Road and in each park will be available for use in May. Fees can be paid using cash or check. A $30 annual parking pass is also available, which will allow unlimited daily parking for one vehicle along North Fork Road and in Marion County North Fork corridor parks. Annual passes can be purchased at any of the parking fee stations or at Marion County Public Works, Building 1, 5155 Silverton Road NE in Salem.
Scotts Mills Park
Scotts Mills Park will not open on May 1 due to scheduled maintenance. The parking lot is being repaved and will open for the season once that work is completed.
Other Seasonal Parks
Other seasonal Marion County parks that open to the public on May 1 include:
Aumsville Ponds on Bates Road SE near Aumsville;
Bonesteele Park on Aumsville Hwy SE;
Spong's Landing on the Willamette River north of Keizer; and,
Minto and Niagara parks along the Santiam River.
These parks are open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.
The following Marion County parks are open and available for public use year-round:
Salem area - Auburn, Denny, Eola Bend, Joryville, Labish Village, and Parkdale;
Near Silverton - Rogers Wayside; and
Along the North Santiam River – Packsaddle
St. Louis Fish Ponds, west of Gervais, opened for the season on March 1.
Marion County has a first-come, first-served policy for all county parks and park amenities. Reservations are not accepted. Parking permits are only required at the county's North Fork corridor parks and for parking along North Fork Road. Parking at all other county parks is free.
Marion County reminds park visitors that the following safety rules apply:
Alcohol, glass containers and smoking are prohibited in all county parks.
Outdoor cooking fires must be in a fireplace, barbecue pit or camp stove, and used safely in designated picnic or cooking areas. During fire season, only portable gas barbecues and camp stoves may be used.
Fires must be attended at all times in county parks. Completely extinguish all fires until cold to the touch and comply with all seasonal fire restrictions.
Discharge of firearms, ammunition, fireworks and other types of explosives are also prohibited in county parks.
For more information about county parks, including descriptions, locations and available amenities, visit the Marion County Parks website at www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks or call (503) 588-5036.