We just booked our first camping trip of the year, and I am beyond excited. My young kids don’t remember the last time we went, so they were a little nervous. My 6-year-old son said, “Are we just going to find and eat berries? We’re not hunting for food…are we? Are we just going to the bathroom in the woods??” ha-ha. I reassured them that we would be bringing snacks, using the grills to prepare meals, and there are bathrooms and showers at the campground. Some of my best childhood memories are from our family camping trips. I especially loved my mom’s freedom letting me and my sister take our bikes and go around the camping loop without her. I felt like such a cool big kid. As we got older, she would let us go a little further for a little longer. She would always say she felt like it was such a safe place due to the 5 m.p.h. speed limits, and the camp hosts everywhere. I am excited to make similar memories with my kiddos. Give them some freedom, get some fresh air, and take in all the beautiful sights that Oregon has to offer. To scour the internet for fun, camping spots for families, I took it to my Facebook page and asked my buddies for some recommendations. Here are some suggestions for beautiful campgrounds in Oregon that would be fun for kids.

Fort Stevens State Park-

This is the campground I have gone to my whole life. This park/campground is in Hammond, Oregon. They have tent sites, RV sites, cabins, and yurts. A beautiful lake called “Coffenbury Lake” with swimming areas and the beach is close by as well. Must-see’s here are the Peter Iredale Shipwreck and Battery Russell: a historic military site. Along with swimming and sightseeing, there are beautiful, paved trails for hiking and biking. I can also tell you that I have been here probably over twenty times in my life, and there has never been a time when I didn’t see beautiful deer roaming around in the morning. A magnificent place, especially for kiddos. Highly recommend. Here is the link for their website: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=park.profile&parkId=129.

KOA Astoria/Hammond-

This year, we are heading across the street from Fort Stevens to the KOA. We have been here once years ago and had such a blast. There are traditional tent sites, RV sites, and cabins ranging from basic to “deluxe.” The selling point for us here was the indoor swimming pool. Another selling point was the snack shack. I know some people feel strongly that if you’re camping, you should be swimming in the lake and making your own food: but this option worked well. I was floored to wander around one morning and see a snack shack selling big breakfast plates, ha-ha. They also have a big basketball court, mini-golf, a huge “jumping pillow” (kind of like a massive trampoline that can fit like, 100 kids!), and lots of trails to hike. An enjoyable place. Here is a link to their website:  https://koa.com/campgrounds/astoria/.

Camp Dakota-

Whoa. I just learned about this place and will be booking ASAP. Some of the fun things this place includes is teepee rentals, ropes courses, paintball, zip lines, and treasure hunting! Along with teepees, they have tent sites, RV sites, cabin tents (don’t know what that is), and group camping sites. They also boast that one could have a pizza delivery service and a hot coffee and espresso stand. Again, whether you like the idea of this place will depend on what you consider “camping”, but I know my kiddos would adore this place. Here is the link to their website and prices for the activities listed: https://www.campdakota.com/.

Loon Lake- 

This one looks like a lot of fun. Loon Lake campground is in Reedsport, Oregon. They offer tent sites, RV sites, yurts, and boat rentals (even houseboats!). The boat rentals are a great feature because that also include items from stand-up paddleboards to pontoons. The campground has a beach volleyball court, full-service deli and snack shack, gift shop, and even an ice cream stand. The park is pet-friendly and offers Wi-Fi. Here is the link to their website: https://loonlakerv.com/. Reedsport is about 30 minutes from Florence, Oregon. One of the suggestions on their website is horseback riding on the beach just north of Florence. Here is the link for more info: https://oregonhorsebackriding.com/.

Barview Jetty-

This campground is amazing because campsites are just a short walk away from the beach. There are playgrounds available for the kiddos as well. Boats can be rented at the Garibaldi Marina. The Tillamook Air Museum, Neahkanie Mountain, and Oswald West State Park are all nearby awesome attractions. Activity suggestions include fishing, hiking, and scuba-diving! Here is the link for more info: http://www.oregonsbestcamping.com/north_coast/barview_jetty.html.

Lost Lake-

Lost Lake campground is in the Mt. Hood National Forest. They have 148 campsites and select RV sites. They also offer cabin rentals and lodge rooms. They rent out row boats, kayaks, paddle boards, or pedal boats (nothing with a motor). They also rent fishing poles. A grill and a café are available for food purchases. A store is on site with a ton of different items, but it would be wise to bring the things you need if possible because I’ve been told by my buddy, Kristin, that the store items are pretty spendy. This place is absolutely beautiful and I’m sure many kids would enjoy a summer vacation here. Here is the link: https://lostlakeresort.org/camping/.

Timothy Lake-

The lake is 1,500 acres and home to 7 different campgrounds. The activities listed include camping, hiking, fishing, paddling, picnicking, and horseback riding. There are plenty of boating options, with motorized boats having a speed limit of 10 m.p.h. The campgrounds provide beautiful views and great opportunities for fishing. Here is the link for more info: https://portlandgeneral.com/about/parks-campgrounds/timothy-lake.

Promontory Park-

This place is geared toward families with an alcohol-free rule and a lake “just for young anglers.” It is noted that kiddos up to 17 years old can fish for two trout per day in this stocked pond. They offer playgrounds, picnic areas, and varied rentals. They rent out: kayaks, paddleboards, and motorboats. For camping spaces, they have tent sites, RV sites, cabins, and yomes (a yome is defined as a cross between a yurt and a dome). I have never been here but have many friends that can vouch for how enjoyable and fun it is for their families. The park is right here in Portland, on the north fork of the Clackamas River. For more info, here is the link:  https://portlandgeneral.com/about/parks-campgrounds/promontory-park.

This list could go on and on. Oregon is a great place for camping. Camping means different things to different people. Some like the “glamping” idea of having a cabin with cable TV and several amenities, while others prefer “real camping” with no electricity and relying completely on the outdoors. Whatever you like, Oregon has a camping spot for you. While looking at the Timothy Lake website, I noticed a great article that offers “10 tips for first-time campers”. Here is the link to that article:  https://www.recreation.gov/articles/list/ten-tips-for-first-time-tent-campers/609. Best of luck to you all in finding the perfect campground for your family.

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