The Willamette Valley is booming with many beautiful, family-friendly parks. In fact, Salem alone currently has 57 city parks with an additional 19 under development. Imagine how many there are if we added up all of the parks in each city within Marion County? We would have well over 100 to choose from.
It is convenient to frequent parks that are near to our homes, however, over time children may lose interest in the same climbing equipment and/or areas of play. This summer, challenge yourself and your family to step out further from your neighborhood city park and visit one of the Marion County Parks—such as Niagra, Scotts Mills, or even Spong’s Landing. These parks may offer trails for hiking and biking, horseshoe pits, fishing, or even boat ramps. The Marion County Parks link below has a map of all the county parks along with detailed amenities you can find at each site.
Another great online tool to finding parks is the Oregon State Parks website. It includes a user-friendly search engine to filter and find parks that will best suit your family’s needs. In addition, you can even enter your mailing address at the bottom to receive a free 2015-2016 Oregon State Park Guide.
Before visiting a new park, be sure to research whether or not there are any entrance fees or additional rules or regulations, such as if you plan to bring a dog or stay to camp for the night. There may even be particular hours or special dates when the park is closed. As with every new opportunity, take advantage of visiting a new park to share in the awe and wonder of nature with your young child. Take in the scenery and the smells. Use age-appropriate language to talk about the shapes of the leaves, the texture of the tree bark, and the sound of dirt scraping against the bottom of their shoes. Each park in the Willamette Valley is an outdoor classroom waiting to be explored by little hands and feet.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear feedback from you as to which parks are your favorites and which you’d recommend to families with young children. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Salem Park List
Marion County Parks
Oregon State Parks
Find a Park
Turn Any Walk Into a Nature Walk
Explore the Great Outdoors with Your Child