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The impressive Siuslaw National Forest lays on the west coast of Oregon. It is just a short drive away from Eugene and Albany. This place is known for a variety of ecosystems, including vast dunes and old-growth forests. Mary’s Peak dominates the landscape to the east, creating gorgeous scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty of things to do here since the national forest has miles and miles of hiking trails, four rivers abundant with fish, and dozens of picturesque lakes.
The 634,207-acre forest has three wilderness areas established in 1984 to preserve its unique flora and fauna. Considering the size of Siuslaw National Forest, it is impossible to explore this place during just one motorhome camping trip. However, you could start by looking for RV rentals in Lane Country and taking a scenic drive to Siuslaw National Forest.
Rolling hills, sand dunes, Pacific Ocean, dense hemlock woods, and a tall mountain-visitors can experience all of this at Siuslaw National Forest. The extensive network of trails makes this forest a perfect place for hikers and mountain bikers. The trails range from very short paths to 7-mile long treks through gorgeous scenery. Both beginners and experienced hikers who go RV camping at Siuslaw National Forest may enjoy this place. Some of the more popular pathways are the 2.2-mile long Kentucky Falls Trail and the challenging hike to Mary's Peak.
Considering that Siuslaw National Forest has dozens of lakes and four rivers, it shouldn’t be surprising to discover that watersports are popular in the area. Bigger lakes often have sandy beaches and boat ramps for kayakers or canoers. Visitors love tubing on the rivers as well. If you happen to be closer to the Pacific Ocean, try beachcombing. Younger campers might like this activity as beaches hide many small treasures just waiting to be dug up.
Siuslaw National Forest has around 40 different campgrounds. The majority of them feature facilities that can accommodate long vehicles, RVs, and tents. Full hookups are not available at any of the campgrounds. A couple of them offer electric hookups. One of the more popular places among visitors is Carter Lake Campground. It is located within the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area and a favorite among OHV enthusiasts. This campground features 23 sites for RVs, and each has a picnic table, as well as a fire ring. Visitors may use the flush toilets and potable water that are available within the camp. Carter Lake is just a short walk away from the camp, and it is an excellent place for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. Carter Lake Campground is open from May to late September, depending on the weather.
The second option for Siuslaw National Forest campers could be Cape Perpetua Campground. Surrounded by gorgeous nature and dense woods, this campground offers basic features such as flush toilets, clean water, and picnic areas. This 37-site campground is very close to the Pacific Ocean. The majority of the sites are right next to the Cape Creek. Each has a picnic table and a fire ring. Hikers often choose Cape Perpetua Campground because they have easy access to a 23-mile trail system passing right by this place. This campground is open from March to September.
Nestled in the Willamette Valley, Eugene is a vibrant community with plenty of unique museums, art galleries, and historical landmarks. The city is also home to three universities. It is frequented by the outdoorsy people because of numerous recreational opportunities in and around Eugene. Visitors who go camping at Siuslaw National Forest shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see Eugene and explore its charming streets. History buffs could start their tour at the Lane County Historical Museum. Established in 1951, this museum has several permanent exhibits that tell a fascinating story of first European settlers who arrived in the area. There are more than 10,000 different artifacts, documents, and photographs related to the history of Eugene and Lane County. Tourists could learn more about the historic Oregon Trail and see the antique vehicles like an authentic buckboard wagon.
Those who happen to be here in late July could attend the annual Lane County Fair. The fair often starts in the middle of the week and ends on Sunday. This event is the perfect combination of traditional and modern activities. Visitors get to see livestock competitions, listen to live music, taste delicious local food, and have fun on carnival rides. Additionally, Lane County Fair brings together all the artists from the area who showcase their work here.
The downtown area is bustling with activity even after the fair. The weekends are reserved for Lane County Farmers Market, where visitors may purchase fresh produce. The culinary scene here is exceptional, with several amazing restaurants serving international and local dishes.
Should you need supplies, snacks, and drinks, there are a couple of convenience stores in the heart of Eugene. Oregon has lots of natural wonders that are just waiting to be seen. Those of you who want to see more of Pacific Northwest could head north on I-5 to Salem, the capital of the state.