Linn County Parks & Recreation Winter 2017 Newsletter

​Happy New Year!

On behalf of Linn County Parks & Recreation, we’d like to wish our friends and community a Happy New Year and a safe, prosperous 2018. Our Winter 2017 Newsletter is full of exciting and interesting information as you enjoy our year-round recreation.

A Closer Look At . . . Winter Activities at River Bend Park and Clear Lake Resort​

You never can tell from year to year whether winter will bring snowfall to our area. Certainly at higher elevations there is likely to be snow at this time of year. Even at some lower elevations, with or without snow, there are a lot of fun winter activities for all ages.

We have two facilities that are available to winter camping and lodging…Clear Lake Resort and River Bend County Park. Clear Lake has a popular promotion which allows visitors who have cabin reservations between November 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 to buy one night and they will get a second consecutive night for free. Simply tell us on the phone that you want to use this offer, or if you book online leave a note in the guest comment section and your bill will be adjusted.

We also have a similar coupon deal for River Bend County Park where visitors who buy one night of camping or cabin stay and get the 2nd consecutive night for half off. This is applicable for visitors staying at River Bend between January 1 and March 31, 2018. Again, simply tell us on the phone that you want to use that offer, or if you book online leave a note in the guest comment section and your bill will be adjusted.

River Bend’s cabins are open for year-round use and make a wonderful winter getaway. We also have an enclosed shelter with a fireplace for cozy family gatherings during cold, wet weather.  River Bend provides close access to low elevation Willamette National Forest trails for hiking, or if you are a waterfall lover McDowell Creek Falls County Park is only a quick 10-mile drive away.

Higher up in the mountains, Clear Lake Resort is a short 20-minute drive from Hoodoo Ski Area on Santiam Pass, so if you’re already in that area it’s a great place to stop and get an extra dose of snow. A lot of skiers stay at Clear Lake and take advantage of the snow activities in both places.

Hoodoo has the popular Autobahn tubing area. If you’re not a skier, or you have young children, tubing is a great alternative for people who don’t ski, but want to get out in the snow. Clear Lake Resort has several areas popular for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, or hiking if there’s no snow. The Resort has close access to nearby snowmobile trails, and since the lake does not freeze over, anglers can fish year-round for a cutthroat trout. Boat rentals are available daily, all year long! While the lake is not stocked in winter, there are still plenty of fish for the hearty angler.

Lava Lake Trailhead, part of the Willamette National Forest, is a high-elevation trailhead that is just 10 minutes down the road from Clear Lake. Photographers and nature lovers in general can find many things to appreciate in this snowy landscape. The combination of the lake, trees, and lava makes for spectacular photos. From Lava Lake, it’s a short trip to the top of Santiam Pass. At 4,817 feet at the top of the pass, visitors can get clear views of Mt. Washington and Three Fingered Jack.

Back at the resort you can enjoy a trip around the Clear Lake Loop Trail. On a clear day the trail offer great views of the Lake and from the right spot from the northern end the Three Sisters look amazing. As the snow begins to pile up, hiking gives way to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on this 5 mile loop around the lake. Clear Lake also provides easy access to several Willamette National Forest trailheads at lower elevations, if you want to see some bare ground.

The Clear Lake cabins are open year-round, but visitors must bring their own food and bedding. The Resort is operating on its winter season generator schedule. Electrical power will be available during the following time periods; 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM, Noon to 1:00 PM, Evenings 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Winter generator hours are in effect until May 2018.

​Winterizations at River Bend Park

​As of November 17, 2017, River Bend County Park has been officially winterized. The following sites will have the water on: 2C, 3C, 4C, 5C, 6C, 7C, 8C, 9C, 6D, 8D. Campsites 5B & 6B will have the water on, but are used on a first come, first serve basis for a drop in at the park. All other sites will have power, but the water has been turned off/winterized. The River Bend cabins are available for winter rentals. The E, F and G-loops are closed until March of 2018.​

Winter Campsites Available at Waterloo County Park and River Bend Park​

​​Waterloo and River Bend parks both have campsites available in the winter months. We only maintain a limited number for winter use, but we are happy to accommodate special requests if at all possible. Both of those parks are at low elevations, so they don’t see too much snow, but there are situated for easy access to higher-elevations if snow is what you’re after.

Both parks are on the Santiam River. River Bend Park in particular is on the upper South Santiam River close to the Cascade mountains but also has quick access to lower-elevation forest service trails for hiking year-round. A good rule to keep in mind is if there’s snow in the valley, these two parks will likely also have snow.​

Clear Lake Resort Winter Generator Hours​

​Clear Lake Resort is now operating on the winter season schedule for generator hours. Electrical power will be available during the following time periods: Mornings 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM, Noon to 1:00 PM, Evenings 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Winter generator hours will remain in effect until May 2018.​ Clear Lake Resort offers boat rentals year-round.

Linn County Parks & Recreation Summer 2017 Newsletter

Oregon’s Total Solar Eclipse on August 21!

A very rare event is coming to Oregon (and Linn County specifically) on August 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse will land over the Pacific Northwest on Monday, August 21, 2017. This is a profound scientific event, and it’s estimated that over 1,000,000 tourists will make their pilgrimage to Oregon to witness history.

The August 21, 2017, solar eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States since 1979, and the first to sweep across the country since 1918! The eclipse event begins will initially be viewable from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It will make first landfall just north of Depoe Bay, Oregon, at Government Point (Boiler Bay State Park).

The partial eclipse will begin shortly after 9 a.m. in Oregon, reaching totality (or total eclipse) between 10:15 and 10:25 a.m.. How long you see the total eclipse depends largely upon how close you are to the center of what’s called the “path of totality.”

Linn County, Oregon, is in the path of totality!

The “path of totality” (where the eclipse is the darkest) comes right through our parks system. Linn County (Albany and surrounding communities) is expected to have tens of thousands of tourists come to our parks and county to witness the event.

What Is a Total Solar Eclipse?

Occasionally, the moon’s shadow perfectly covers the face of the Sun (from our perspective here on Earth) and creates darkness during the day time.

When Will the Eclipse Happen?

Monday, August 21, 2017
Starts around 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time
The “total eclipse” will happen at different times and for different durations depending on where you are located. Albany’s total darkness will last for one minute and 52 seconds, at approximately 10:17 a.m.

Map of the Eclipse’s Path

You can see the path of the Eclipse through Linn County below. You can also download PDF versions of maps here and here.


Where to Watch the Eclipse in Linn County

Linn County’s campgrounds are full for the time period of the eclipse. There are some non-camping options.

Day-use facilities will be open:

If you travel to a day-use area . . . be prepared for large crowds. We’ll open day-use areas as early as we can so the public has access. Try to get there early and be prepared to stay late. It may take a long time for all of the cars to leave the area. Bring food, water, clothing and entertainment for what might end up being a full day outing.

Boating offers exceptional eclipse viewing:

  • Boating is available at both Foster and Green Peter Reservoirs
  • Boating is available “Dawn” to “Dusk.” Dawn is defined as 30 minutes before sunrise. On August 21, Dawn will occur at 5:51 a.m. Make sure you load in early to avoid what’s sure to be a rush later in the morning!

If you travel to a boating area. . . be prepared for large numbers of boats on the water. The boat ramps will be in use all morning and into the day. We’ll open day use areas as early as we can so the public has access. Try to get there early and be prepared to stay late. It may take a long time for all of the boats and cars to leave the area. Bring food, water, clothing and entertainment for what might end up being a full day outing.

If you are still looking for somewhere to go. . . check with smaller communities in the Linn County area such as Scio. They may know of camping spots or day use fields that have opened up.

Plan Your Trip

Linn County Parks offers family-friendly well-maintained parks, fishing, boating, camping, museums, and historic sites.

Find a Park

Hiking trails, waterfalls, covered bridges, and swimming areas are among the points of interest at our 30 parks.

Places to Camp

Spend a weekend in the heart of the Willamette valley at one of more than 400 campsites.