A popular hot springs east of Eugene that’s been closed to the public since last summer will re-open July 1st.
The wildfire was sparked last August by a lit cigarette left on a stump at Cougar Hot Springs. It burned almost 12-thousand acres in the Willamette National Forest. District Ranger Darren Cross says since the closure, there’s been a lot of interest from the public in when the Hot Springs would re-open.
“People have been asking a lot to come in here. We get lots of phone calls at the front desk and a lot of people even as you saw when we came in, there was someone illegally in here when we arrived today. There’s been a lot of people in here and it’s very hard to keep people out so I’m happy that we’re going to be able to open it back up to the public.”
Cross says Cougar Hot Springs gets about 30,000 visitors a year. During the closure, they’ve had almost daily trespassers try to get to the popular spot. Road number 19, also called Aufderheide Drive, will be open to traffic as well come July first.