Fern Ridge Lake is a reservoir and recreational area located just 12 miles from downtown Eugene, Oregon. It has a dam that was completed in 1941 that helps with flood control, and you can watch fish migrate around the dam in early summer and early fall. Several activities are available around Fern Ridge Lake. Some of the more popular things people do are sailing, water skiing, hunting, and birdwatching. There is also a private resort near the lake that provides overnight COE camping for visitors. Fern Ridge Lake itself sits on the Long Tom River. From the lake, you can look at the beautiful mountains in the distance while you're surrounded by nature. The lake's maximum depth is 33 feet with an average depth of 11 feet. There are plenty of nearby camping areas for tent and RV campers alike.
Fern Ridge Lake is really easy to get to. It is just 12 miles west of Eugene, Oregon. You don't have to worry about traveling through the mountains to get there as the lake sits on an elevation of 380 feet. Depending on where you're coming from, it shouldn't take you too long to arrive. From Bend, Oregon, it is just a short 20-mile drive. If you're coming from the north, near Portland, it’s a beautiful drive through 105 miles of Oregon scenery. All roads surrounding Fern Ridge Lake are maintained during the winter months. If you don't already know, Oregon is known for being quite a rainy state. That being said, it's rare that the roads are closed due to flooding. Still, it may be a wise decision to double-check online to make sure that all roads are open before you head out the door.
There is an RV camping area on Fern Ridge lake. This area is quiet and perfect for a nature getaway. It is located right on the shore, giving you a beautiful view, right from your RV! There is an area where you can launch your boat, park your RV or even live in one of the many manufactured homes.
62 full-service RV sites have a 50 amp electricity service along with sewer, water, telephone, and cable hook-ups. The majority of the area is paved and there is even a newly remodeled clubhouse. In the clubhouse, you'll find an air hockey table, a foosball table, restrooms, showers, and even a full-service kitchen. The hours of the clubhouse vary throughout the year.
Richardson Park Campground is a great camping option that’s available. It is located in Junction City, Oregon and is a popular family-friendly destination. There are 88 campsites in total and a plethora of activities you can take part in such as water skiing, boating, kayaking, picnicking and more! It is wheelchair accessible and pets are welcome as well. There is a 60 foot maximum for trailers and RVs. There are electrical and water hook-ups for RVs and even showers and bathrooms nearby each campsite.
One of the most popular activities at Fern Ridge Lake is to go swimming. This is a great way to cool off during the hot summer months. It may be important for some to know that there is no lifeguard on duty. If you decide to swim in Fern Ridge lake, you are responsible for your own safety. The state of Oregon does want people to be on the lookout for algae blooms as they can be harmful to people as well as pets.
Another great way to cool off in the summer is by doing one of your favorite water sports on Fern Ridge Lake. Some of the more popular activities include windsurfing, sailing, flatwater kayaking, stand up paddling, and water skiing. You do have to bring your own equipment, and you should always be wearing a life jacket. Since Fern Ridge is a vast reservoir on 9,000 acres, there is plenty of room for everyone on the lake!
Speaking of water activities, you can also go fishing. When you’re fishing on Fern Ridge lake, you may find yourself catching some unique fish. There are white crappie, brown bullhead catfish, largemouth bass, native cutthroat trout, and bluegill in the water. There are several boat launches and shoreline parks all around the lake.
The water doesn’t get cold enough in the winter for ice fishing. For your own safety, please don't try to ice fish on Fern Ridge Lake.
During the off-season, you can take advantage of the several trails that are found all around Fern Ridge Lake. The majority of these trails are groomed and have graveled.
Some trails are perfect for a casual stroll around the lake. If you want a more vigorous hike, they are trails nearby for that, as well. When you're packing up the RV for your trip, don't forget to bring your hiking boots.
One of the more relaxing things you can do at Fern Ridge Lake is bird watching. There are several benches and areas around the lake where you can sit down with your binoculars and check out the wildlife around you.
Thankfully, there are a variety of different birds you may see around this part of Oregon. You can see birds such as bald eagles, doves, turkeys, pheasants, and more. You may want to bring a book that teaches you about different birds, including what they look like, so you can get a better idea of what type of bird you’re seeing.
While you can't necessarily hunt right on Fern Ridge Lake, there are areas around the lake that are open during hunting season. You'll see a variety of different animals in the forest and grasslands in this area of Oregon. Some of the animals commonly seen are elk, deer, and even the occasional black bear. Please make sure that you have any necessary hunting requirements or licenses before taking part in this activity.