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Some State Parks Open Back Up 

Pilot Butte is back, baby! And so are some of its friends, as of Wednesday

It's been tough not being able to get out to all of  Oregon's great state parks during the pandemic. We've had some incredible weather and nature is calling. But now we've got some good news: the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced Tuesday that a small number of inland state parks will be open to limited services starting Wednesday, May 6—including Bend's Pilot Butte and a few other Central Oregon locations.

"We know these last six weeks has seemed longer, but your health is important to us," OPRD Director Lisa Simpson said in a press release. "It is true outdoor recreation boosts our mental and physical health, but parks concentrate people in a community, and we have to do this carefully if it's going to work."

click to enlarge A snapshot of Bend on the way up Pilot Butte. - ISAAC BIEHL
  • Isaac Biehl
  • A snapshot of Bend on the way up Pilot Butte.

Parks that are opening for limited daytime use include:


Other state parks will see limited use slowly roll into effect starting on May 11, based on the readiness of each community they belong to, and not all restrooms will be open still.

However, just because these places are open doesn't mean you have to go to them. Remember to stay home if you're feeling sick or come back at a different time if a park appears too crowded. If you do plan on attending a park, remember to wear a face covering, stay 6 feet away from people not in your household, cover coughs with tissue or inside of the elbow,  keep visits short and as always, leave no trace.

"We need your cooperation to keep parks open," added Simpson.
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