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Camping at Dorena Lake State Recreation Area

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Overview of Dorena Lake State Recreation Area

Dorena Lake State Recreation Area is a popular destination for campers and outdoor enthusiasts in Oregon, offering a variety of recreational activities. The lake is situated in the scenic Willamette Valley, southeast of the city of Cottage Grove. It is formed by the Dorena Dam on the Row River and is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Activities and Amenities

  • Boating and Fishing: Dorena Lake is a great place for boating (both motorized and non-motorized) and fishing. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of species, including trout, bass, and catfish.

  • Hiking and Biking: The area has several hiking trails, and the Row River Trail provides a paved path for cyclists and hikers to enjoy views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.

  • Picnicking: There are picnic areas around the lake with tables and grills available for day use.

  • Swimming: The lake has designated swimming areas, but visitors should be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty.

  • Wildlife Viewing: Bird watching and wildlife viewing are common activities as the area is rich in biodiversity.

Camping Information

  • Campsites: There are campsites available around Dorena Lake, including tent sites and RV sites with various facilities.

  • Reservations: Some campsites can be reserved in advance, while others are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Facilities and Services: Campsites typically come with basic amenities such as fire rings, picnic tables, portable water, and access to restrooms and showers. Dump stations may also be available for RV users.

Regulations and Safety

  • Fire Safety: Be aware of fire regulations, especially during dry summer months when restrictions or bans may be in place.

  • Boating Regulations: If boating, make sure to follow all state boating laws, including having the appropriate number of life vests.

  • Licenses: Anglers need to have a valid Oregon fishing license to fish in Dorena Lake.

  • Preservation: As with any natural area, visitors should follow leave-no-trace principles to preserve the environment for future guests.


  • Getting There: Dorena Lake State Recreation Area is accessible by car, and it's recommended to check the route and road conditions before traveling.

  • Accessibility Features: Check for designated accessible sites and amenities, if needed.

Local Attractions and Services

  • Nearby Towns: Cottage Grove is the nearest town to Dorena Lake, where visitors can find stores, restaurants, and other services.

  • Covered Bridges: The area is famous for its covered bridges, which are picturesque and a part of local heritage.

Contact and Information

Before heading out to Dorena Lake State Recreation Area, it's a good idea to contact the managing agency or visit their website for the latest information on campsite availability, current conditions, and any alerts or notices that might affect your stay.

Map of Campgrounds in Dorena Lake State Recreation Area
Campgrounds in Dorena Lake State Recreation Area
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