When most people think of Josephine County, usually outdoor recreation is one of the first subjects mentioned. After all, the county is home to nineteen parks, eight of them with camping accommodations. “We’re often the bedroom community for the more industrial places out in Jackson County. We pride ourselves on having things for people to do,” says County Commissioner Dan DeYoung. And as you’ll see below, Josephine County’s parks certainly aren’t lacking in the world of recreational opportunities.
Camping at Whitehorse Park has been around for years, but now the park is expanding so that more campers can have the opportunity to visit. With the remodel of the campsites, RVs will definitely have space to enjoy the area and tent campers won’t have to worry about being crowded. In addition to camping, Whitehorse Park contains a bird sanctuary, nature trails, and a boat ramp on the Rogue River.
The Cathedral Hills trail system, with miles of riding and hiking routes, is a popular place for outdoor exercise. (And there’s a bonus in the fact that visitors don’t need to pay a day use fee). The same goes for Hog Creek and Matson Parks. Griffin Park boasts of their waterfront views—and during Boatnik, it’s best to reserve camp spots far in advance since the park also has front row seats for the boat races. Schroeder Park has camping and boating opportunities as well, as do Almeda and Indian Mary Parks.
Wolf Creek is of course known for the Wolf Creek Inn, a historic and supposedly haunted destination where the likes of author, Jack London, and actor, Clark Gable, stayed repeatedly. Not far from the town though, Wolf Creek Park offers visitors over thirty campsites, plus creek access, hiking trails, and tranquil picnic sites.
Lake Selmac, Josephine County’s southernmost park, is another great spot for camping and fishing. Often times during the summer, Lake Selmac features an assortment of community activities for Cave Junction, Kerby, Selma, and the other outlying towns.
“You can do just about anything with one tank of gas—from right here,” says DeYoung. “Lakes, forests, mountains, the coast…You can’t find that sort of livability in too many other places.”
Thanks to the newest addition to our SOREDI team, our SOU alum, Abigail Skelton, we will continue to feature some of the popular attractions located in our Southern Oregon communities. We consider each one of our towns and cities to be “jewels in the crown” that makes up Southern Oregon. If you have a story idea sparked by an inspiring local attraction, please e-mail our Communications Manager, Codi Spodnik and maybe Abigail will be giving you a call to follow up. If you are a SOREDI Member and you have some great news, please e-mail it to Codi so we can share it in our newsletter.
Josephine County Parks Department (2019). Website: http://www.co.josephine.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=144