Following Memorial Day weekend, Mt. Hood National Forest recreationists have stepped into the summer season.
A wide range of activities awaits visitors to the national forest: camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, bird watching and simply driving for pleasure, the Forest Service said in a news release.
Many of the lakes on Mount Hood have been stocked by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and are great destinations for fishing.
This year, two new group sites have been developed as part of the Pine Point campground at Timothy Lake. Each campsite allows for up to 36 people and 12 vehicles, and they are available for reservation at www.recreation.gov.
In addition, two new boater access sites are now open along the Clackamas River to provide easier access for white water boaters.
Some campgrounds and recreation sites are closed this year, including the White River Station Campground and the Rock Creek Day Use Area.
Forest visitors are encouraged to practice “Leave No Trace” ethics by respecting wildlife, packing out all camp garbage, burying or packing out human waste, only parking vehicles on durable surfaces, keeping all camping activities at least 200 feet from lakes and streams, and being responsible with campfires. Please ensure that fires are completely out and fire areas are cold to the touch before leaving your campsites. Fireworks are always prohibited.
Most winter road closures are now lifted. Still, it is normal for trees to be down on many Forest Service trails this time of year, and the forest is experiencing even more blowdowns than usual. While most forest roads are passable as snow melts, some roads may still be snowbound. A few roads, such as Cloud Cap Inn Road (3512), are still impassable and unsafe for regular passenger vehicular traffic.
Forest visitors are reminded that road and weather conditions are rapidly changing. Vehicles can easily become stuck when driven on snow-packed or muddy roads. Visitors are reminded to carry adequate water and food, and to let friends or family members know their travel plans. There are many areas on the forest where cell phone coverage is not available. Please report hazards to your local forest office.
Visitors are also reminded not to solely rely on GPS units. The Forest Service recommends carrying a physical map of the area they plan to visit. Maps can be found online or bought at the Zigzag Ranger Station.
Forest visitors can access current road information on the Mt. Hood National Forest by visiting our Roads Table at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/alerts-notices?cid=stelprdb5191108.