The calendar says it all: summer's almost here and school will soon be out, so the time is right to let the camping season begin at Oregon's newest state park campground.
At Stub Stewart State Park, you'll find incredible views, spacious wooded campsites and intriguing trails to explore - whether on foot, a bike or on horseback.
The scale of Oregon's newest state park campground called
STUB STEWART STATE PARK is huge, the sights are spectacular and the convenience of it all makes the parkland hard to resist.
Located just twenty miles from Portland, the park sprawls across 1700-forested acres of Washington County.
"What's special about this park is the natural environment," noted Park Manager Dan Lucas. "The serene surroundings that we enjoy include second growth fir and hemlock trees, several streams and amazing vistas of the Oregon Coast Range Mountains."
Lucas added that Stewart Park offers a full service campground with over a hundred campsites - many with full hook ups for trailer or RV.
There are also more primitive sites that are strictly for the hike-in or bike-in camper. Access requires a hike of about a quarter mile, but that distance is part of the charm. You really do feel as though you are camping in the woods.
"They are located in a more private, wooded setting with doug fir trees and it's really isolated with separate campsites and picnic tables and a central fire ring too.
If you want to get away from vehicles and the main activity of the park, that's the place to go camping."
If you like to camp but don't own a tent or trailer, Lucas said that the 14 rental cabins offer campers a home in the woods for a change of pace at an affordable price.
"Twelve of the cabins are one room and three are two room cabins; each with a bunk bed, futon couch that folds into a bed, plus a table and chairs. Most of the cabins have beautiful views of the coast range too."
The park has become a drawing card for hikers, bike riders and especially horseback riders. Riders come from all over to enjoy million dollar views and some of the finest facilities in the region.
Pamela Garza and Lola Lahr are campers at Stub Stewart and they are also longtime members of OREGON EQUESTRIAN TRAIL.
The two love to ride their Norwegian Fjord horses across the park's many trails. They also take great pride in the fact the OET helped design the horse camp layout, built corrals and donated materials to make the area a remarkable success.
Pamela Garza noted: "Oh, the conveniences are great with hook ups at each site, water at each site and of course - hot showers!"
Frank DeWeese, the OET Vice President and a longtime rider, added that "Oregon State Parks had a vision for full service camping that included a horse camp. We drew from our 1500 members and provided enough people to put together work parties and we've got several thousand hours of volunteer hours at the campground. It's a remarkable success story for a recreation user-group."
There are 24 distinct trails in Stub Stewart State Park that total 14 miles, plus another 3.5 miles of the Banks-Vernonia Linear Trail courses through the park.
Lola Lahr noted that it all adds up to plenty of miles of trails to explore for all levels of experience, "I have always loved the outdoors and my horse gets me into the outdoors. So, it's the outdoors and horses:a double whammy! It works for me."
It is a parkland that may just work for you too; especially if you enjoy peace and quiet close to the greater Portland Metro area.
Finally, here's a tip: if you enjoy experiencing the Stub Stewart outdoors, why not make it a part of your Oregon 150 Road Challenge. A contest that promises great travel prizes for folks who love to explore Oregon. Check it out!