Camping in this part of the Willamette Valley can be delightful, especially in late spring and early autumn.
About 14 miles east of Sweet Home off U.S. 20 is Cascadia State Park, (reservations 800/452-5687, Mar.–late Oct., $14 plus $6 reservation fee), near the banks of the South Santiam River. Rocks form great swimming holes. A nearby waterfall, a cave with petroglyphs, an old-growth Douglas fir, and a hand pump to draw up mineral water are other appeals. Also along U.S. 20 are superlative boating and fishing on Green Peter and Foster Lake reservoirs. Such amenities as piped water, flush toilets, and firewood are available, and a store is located less than 1 mile away.
The campground at Mary’s Peak (541/750-7000, $10) is open mid-May–mid-September; the final stretch of road to this spot is unsuitable for trailers. It’s about 19 miles from town.
RV campers can stay at Benton Oaks (110 SW 53rd St., 541/766-6259, $25 and up) year-round; tent campers are welcome in the summer. Rates are jacked up during football weekends. This is a pleasant county campground located in a grove of increasingly rare Oregon white oaks at the county fairgrounds.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel