Great news for anyone planning an adventure in this spectacular part of our state. And speaking of which, I was just out there last summer!
Here’s the official statement from Oregon State Parks:
Joseph OR — The Cycle Oregon Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation has awarded a $10,000 matching grant to develop a new hiker-biker camp at Wallowa Lake State Park. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will contribute an additional $10,000 to complete the project.
The current camp for people who hike or bicycle into the park is in an open area along the main camp entrance. Over the next year, park staff will build the new 8-site camping area in a more secluded spot by redesigning the park’s former amphitheater. The new camp will include covered and uncovered sites, lockers, tables, and charging stations. Park staff created a new area for park presentations in a more central location, freeing up the old amphitheater for this project.
From 2009 to 2014, visits to Wallowa Lake State Park have increased 10 percent, from 348,000 to 381,000. As curious travelers from Oregon and around the world discover the Wallowas, the park is interested in encouraging less polluting, less congestion-causing forms of transportation such as hiking and bicycling.
“This is a tremendous gift from Cycle Oregon,” says Park Manager Nancy McLeod (mih-CLOUD). “They’ve always supported the region, but this goes beyond goodwill. They’re investing in the community, and we’re grateful for it.”
The project should start this spring, finish a year later, and be open for its first season in April 2017. The park will work with the Eastern Oregon Visitor Association and the Wallowa Chamber of Commerce to promote the improved service as it opens.