Bicyclists, day hikers, fishers head for LaPine State Park in central Oregon

We passed a dozen or so bicyclists pedaling along the road leading into Oregon’s LaPine State Park — that is always a good sign to us since we like to both hike and bicycle whenever possible when we are traveling.

Pop-up tent campers and avid bicyclists Mark and Carol Morris of West Seattle, Wash., say they have been coming to LaPine for years to bicycle the miles of trails in the park and around the nearby Bend area.

The park is set in a “sub-alpine pine forest where the air has that high-Cascades tang” next to a twisting, cold Deschutes River “brimming with trout (and a nearby legendary fly fishing spot) and surrounded by miles of waiting-to-be-explored wilderness.”

One of the many hike/bike trails leads to a 500-year-old Oregon Heritage Tree, known as “The Big Tree” … Oregon’s largest Ponderosa pine reported to be 162-feet tall and 28.9-feet around.

As for this year-round campground, it is six miles off US 97, about 27 miles southwest of Bend, Oregon. There are 82 full-hookups with sewer, electricity and water, 47 electrical sites with water ($22/night), plus rustic and deluxe cabins.

Acreage: 2,333.12
Annual overnight campers: 42,705
Annual day use attendance: 169,172

La Pine Oregon State Park to reserve go online to www.oregonstateparks.org

Another favorite Oregon State Park a few miles further south on US 97 is Collier Memorial State Park with the adjacent Collier State Logging Museum.

Photos: Jimmy Smith hiking the Nature Trail along the “trout-filled” Upper Dechutes River. (bottom) Camp site #72 on the Middle Loop. (Julianne G. Crane)


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