A pretty state park near Hood River, Oregon, Viento State Park offers a 270-acre refuge on the banks of the mighty Columbia River. The word viento is actually Spanish for "wind", which is quite fitting for a park tucked away in the often breezy surrounds of the Columbia River Gorge.
With easy access to the river, the park is a popular spot with windsurfers and kayakers. It also provides a wonderfully scenic picnic spot that sits next to a tranquil, babbling creek.
If you feel like taking a hike, a one-mile trail from Viento State Park to the Starvation Creek waterfall includes part of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Alternatively, you might prefer sitting back to watch the river meander on by, or marveling at windsurfers doing their thing.
Viento State Park's campground is something of a hidden gem, so you'll usually be able to find a site. The campground is open from April 14 to October 31 and includes 56 electrical sites with water, plus 18 tent sites with water nearby. Camping costs are $17 for a tent site and $24 for an electrical site, while day-use visitors will need to pay the $5 parking fee.
One word of warning, however: the park is bordered by a working railroad line and Interstate 84, so you'll need to be willing to put up with some additional traffic noise and train horns throughout the day and night. Your pooch may also have to watch out for pine needles when taking a stroll around the park at certain times of year.
When not confined to a vehicle or tent, your dog will need to be physically restrained on a leash of six feet or shorter. As always, make sure you show courtesy to other campers and clean up after your dog.
If you can play your part as a responsible dog owner, you can help ensure that parks like this one around the nation remain dog-friendly.