In Dexter, Oregon, outside of Eugene, the Dexter State Recreation Area has a wide variety of outdoor recreational activity options for visitors to enjoy. Completed in 1954, the park is one of thirteen water projects built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in the Willamette area. The park has 94 acres of room and is visited by over 180,000 people annually.
The Dexter State Recreation Area sits on the western edge of the Dexter Reservoir, which provides convenient access to the water for park guests. The reservoir has docks and a two-lane launch ramp. In addition to boating, visitors can fish, swim, and kayak. Fishing at the reservoir or on the Willamette River is common, often yielding salmon and steelhead.
Overlooking the lake is a picnic area with barbecue stands and fire rings. Additionally, there is an 18-hole disc golf course in the park that is a popular attraction. There is also horseback riding available on some trails. For those interested in taking a walk, there are several trails, which start below the dam and link Dexter State Recreation Site to Elijah Bristow State Park.
The trails wind through the forests and access the Middle Fork Willamette River. Trail maps can be downloaded from the park’s website. If you take your dog on your walk, keep them on a leash at all times. There is an off-leash park close by at Elijah Bristow State Park. Also, take waste bags and clean up any pet waste. The Dexter State Recreation Site is open all year-round.
There is no fee for entrance and no reservations required. The Dexter State Recreation Site is a day-use-only park, but there are other campgrounds within 30 minutes where you can stay overnight. If you are near Eugene and looking for a great day-use area to fish or take a walk, Dexter State Recreation Area is a spot you and your furry friends cannot miss.