Collier Memorial State Park is a beautiful secluded paradise found where the Williamson River and Spring Creek meet. The state park is one of the most favored getaway locations for the locals in the area because of its picturesque beauty and superb fishing spots.
The tale about the beginnings of this park is a rather sweet one. The original 146 acres of the park was dedicated by the Collier brothers as a memorial for their parents in 1945. One brother was a Klamath Country Lumberman and the other was a banker. On the grand opening of the park in August 1948, 3000 visitors came to visit. Later, the brothers helped in the acquisition of other tracts that expanded the park to its current size of 525 acreages.
In 1981, the final piece of land was obtained by the US Forest service and led to the existence of the main attraction of the park today; the logging museum. In addition to various artifacts, it also includes a number of diverse and interesting logging and lumbering equipment the Collier’s had gathered back in the day.
In Collier Memorial State Park, there is not a moment of boredom and the campers enjoy every second of their stay dwelling in the rich history and natural beauty of the landscape.
Collier Memorial State Park straddles US Highway 97 and is situated 30 miles north of Klamath Falls. Drive carefully because the road that leads to the park are a bit bumpy and rough in spots. It is wide enough for big rigs and RVs but the potholes can cause a burst tire so best to take it slow once you get close to the park entrance. The nearest town is that of Chiloquin where you can stock up on camping gear as there is no camp store in the park.
Collier Memorial State Park campground is situated right next to the west bank of Williamson River. The campground has two loops, namely Loop A and Loop B.
Both loops have sites for recreational vehicles, tent camping as well as two equestrian campsites.
A Loop has 16 full-hookups sites, and 18 non-hookups sites with access to drinking water nearby. The sites come equipped with electric, water, and sewage hookups. This loop also comes with a restroom with hot showers and flush toilets.
B Loop has 30 full-hookup sites of which nine are pull-through while the rest are back-in. Two campsites on this loop are specifically for campers with disabilities.
The Williamson day use area is open to vacationers year round and has four group day-use shelters that can be reserved in advance. Fires are allowed at the campsite and firewood is available for sale in the park. You’ll also find a fire pit and picnic table at each site. Sanitary dump, phone service, laundry facilities, and trash cans are also available for the ease and comfort of campers.
It is highly recommended to make a reservation, however, if fate makes you find your way to Collier Memorial State Park then there are walk-in sites available as well.
Anglers love Collier Memorial State Park for its serene yet exhilarating fishing experience. Home to where the Williamson River and the Spring Creek meet, the park has plenty of water nearby with nice calm deep spots that are ideal hunting grounds for ambush predators. Both rivers are easily accessible to campers who fancy tossing a line in the water. Williamson River is known for its quality trout fishery and for being a place that often blesses anglers with trophy-sized catches.
The river waters offer an enjoyable kayaking or canoeing experience to campers that fancy a bit of water-based activities. As you float by the river you can take in the scenic views of this picturesque landscape with the many types of flora and fauna that can be spotted around the shoreline. The gurgling creek and the calmer deeper waters of Williamson River offer two different kinds of boating experiences both of which are worth trying. Campers who have close access to the river can launch a boat directly. Others might have to walk farther to the river to the designated boat launch area.
A very well-maintained 10-mile long equestrian trail runs from Collier Park and all the way to the Kimball Park situated on the eastern borders of the Wood River Valley. This equestrian trailhead leads horse riders all the way to the national forest land if they continue on north, and even beyond offering ample space to explore on horseback. Horse riding is perhaps the best way to explore these lands around the park and let your inner adventurer on the loose.
Collier Memorial State Park has a day-use area for picnicking enthusiasts. There are picnic benches and reservable shelters available at the park for those who fancy a day-out by the riverside. The picnic area is near the waters edge so that picnickers can have a nice scenic view of the creek and Williamson river as they feast on their snacks and relax. Picnic tables are firepits are also available on-site as well as a day-use parking area.
Collier Logging Museum is one of the main attractions of this park. There are displays upon displays of logging artifacts dating back to the time when logging was all manual and animal powered. Then the artifacts turn more modern right before your eyes as you find yourself gazing at the displays of 1980’s logging equipment. The famous museum is also honored with the largest collection of McVay log loaders.
The museum’s main attractions are the steam donkey, steam tractors, a steam locomotive and a Corliss steam engine that was used for 47 years in Weed, California to run Long-Bell Lumber Company’s sawmill. In the museum, campers also get to see chain-driven Mack trucks, pull-type road graders and numerous high wheels. The collection also shows lumbering equipment of the mid-twenties such as log-raft tugboat, diesel-powered tractors, and sawmills.
Not only is Collier home to one of the largest collections of original logging equipment in the nation, thanks to the Collier brothers who donated most of it, but it is also home to a setting that takes campers back to the old days of logging and lumbering. The Collier brothers wanted to safeguard the tools that have remained an important part of Oregon’s milling and logging industries, and the authorities of the park took it a step further by installing original cabins, offices, and stores to the park that make up Pioneer Village.