More people are using Oregon’s campgrounds than ever before, according to recent numbers from the Parks Department.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says it recorded nearly 3 million camping nights in state parks in 2019. The numbers have been climbing steadily in recent years. Parks spokesperson Chris Havel says they’re seeing more camping year-round than they used to.
“Summers are always kind of kooky in the state parks system where we see a good number of people visiting, even when it’s raining, which is great.” Havel says, “But, the weather’s been getting better in spring and better in fall and that’s where we’ve been seeing some of the larger increases in camping.”
Havel says day visits to parks have been setting records for the last 5 years. They flattened somewhat in 2019, going down from 51.2 million to 49.9 million. Havel says state parks are funded with a combination of user fees, lottery funds, and recreational vehicle license plate registrations.