Community Stories: Parks and Rec, Shady Cove Style

Along Highway 62, a 3,105-person community is known for being the gateway to Crater Lake. Full of rafting, boating, and fishing spots, the City of Shady Cove is one of Southern Oregon’s gorgeous recreational gems. And tourist season on the Rogue River isn’t the City’s only excitement. Shady Cove is home to two beautiful parks in which the City hosts a summer “Music in the Park” series (4 events), and each June, the Watershed Council sponsors the popular Festival on the Rogue which brings in families from all over Southern Oregon to celebrate this area’s precious river resources with fun and games for all ages.*

The City’s Aunt Caroline’s Park was named after pioneer Caroline Drexler, who lived in Etna—the precursor to the City of Shady Cove (which was not listed under its current name until 1939). Aunt Caroline’s park reflects a pristine, tranquil and modern setup, complete with a kid’s playground, basketball half-court, city-run facilities (including a dog walk) and parking. Over the past several years, summer events such as ‘Music in the Park’ have been a blast for area residents. Featuring promotional booths, pop-up museums about the City’s early history, and live concerts put on by popular local bands, ‘Music in the Park’ nights are “truly fun,” said City Administrator, Tom Corrigan. In 2019, the lineup featured a different music genre each month:

  • June: Country music
  • July: Oldies, Classic Rock
  • August: Retro Soul and Party music
  • September: Rock, Reggae and Soul Funk music

So grab your lawn chairs, pack your picnic dinner or plan to buy some good eats from one of the event’s food vendors, and be prepared to have some toe tapping fun . . . admission is free!*

In addition to ‘Music in the Park,’ Shady Cove is the site for the popular ‘Festival on the Rogue’ which focuses on the natural wonders and recreational opportunities of the Upper Rogue River watershed, as well as on ways to assure that they are passed on to future generations.

In the past, the event featured a large outdoor aquarium holding adult salmon and steelhead trout, visits from Smokey Bear, local river boats, interesting exhibits on the natural and recreational assets of our watershed and river, food and music, raffles for prizes, artisans selling nature-related arts, crafts, and more.

With its sights on improving and growing Upper Rogue recreation, the City of Shady Cove is continually working to enhance its parks to provide safe recreation and enjoyment for all.  Four years ago, the City, in conjunction with the Watershed Council and the Shady Cove fifth grade students, completely restored the crumbling bank of Indian Creek that runs through Aunt Caroline’s Park.  In addition, the City is in the process of adding an ADA-access ramp to facilitate entry and exit to/from this park from the elevated side street. And there is more! The boat ramp within the County owned Upper Rogue Regional Park has been in desperate need of repair for over 10 years, so Shady Cove is stepping up to team with the County and the Marine Board to get it done. On the topic of infrastructure, this also brings up the development of sidewalks leading from Highway 62 to the elementary school. The City wants kids to be able to walk or bike along the street safely, explained Corrigan. While not as immediate as the park improvements currently on the table, sidewalks are definitely in the City’s vision for the future.

So, stay tuned to Shady Cove’s news on the City’s own radio station, KSHD-LP, reached on 94.3FM. Or, better yet, sign up for the local newsletter, the Insider. Although a small city, the horizon is wide with possibilities for scenic Shady Cove.

*Check into Covid Updates and Restrictions. 


Additional Sources:

City of Shady Cove. General Information. Website:

Festival on the Rogue 2020. General Information.


Oregon Secretary of State (2021). “Incorporated Cities: Shady Cove.” Oregon Blue Book. Website:

Specht, Sanne. (2009). “After being canned last year, SPAM festival is back.” Mail Tribune. Website:

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