Parks & Recreation: Eastern Oregon Economic Drivers

Parks & Recreation: Eastern Oregon Economic Drivers Main Photo

28 Jun 2023


Eastern Oregon is synonymous with excellent outdoor adventure. From casting for trout in world-class river systems, backpacking in pristine mountain wilderness or skiing fine powder runs, phenomenal experiences await here.

But within each county of Eastern Oregon, there is an equally important resource within the boundaries of the local cities and towns -  unique, enjoyable parks, trails and other recreation opportunities available to persons of all ages.

This July is Park and Recreation Month, the perfect time to recognize the importance these facilities and green spaces have in building the quality of place our families, visitors and outdoor adventures seek.

Why we celebrate Parks and Recreation Month

Celebrate Park and Recreation Month with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to recognize the power parks and recreation opportunities have in Eastern Oregon. This year, the NRPA’s theme is “Where Community Grows,” directing attention to bringing people together to foster goodwill and growth in communities nationwide. Use the NRPA 2023 Park and Recreation Month Toolkit to promote activities in Eastern Oregon.

The Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative understands the vital role parks and recreation play in our community. They are essential for residents’ high quality of life and enjoyment and for new families looking for a place to live. Parks and recreation can also serve as an economic driver. When people visit our community to play at a park, participate in a tournament or use our recreation facilities, they often spend money locally as they shop, eat at restaurants and fill up their vehicles with gas, creating jobs and other local benefits.

The State of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department manages numerous campgrounds, trails, ATV parks, bikeways, waterways and historical locations, many of which are in Eastern Oregon. Additionally, it operates a grant system to promote economic development in wide-ranging enterprises focused on ATVs, recreational trails and heritage projects.

Parks and recreation in Eastern Oregon

The opportunities for family fun in Eastern Oregon are as numerous as the counties here.  Learn more about the complete listing of the opportunities waiting for you here. Read on for a few parks and recreation spots to enjoy in as little time as a quick morning visit before work or an extended weekend, all within a short walk or drive from your stay. 

John Day 7th Street Complex

As a shared property between John Day Canyon City Parks and Recreation District and Grant School District, the 7th Street Complex is a phenomenal conglomeration of recreation opportunities. The John Day Bike Park is a two miles single-track mountain bike trail of loops and dirt jumps best suited for kids and beginners. A skills area includes a pump track, a loop of dirt berms and rollers to ride without pedaling. A small fishing pond is stocked yearly, a mile-long paved walking/running trail with six fitness workstations for the fitness buffs, pickleball courts and more.

Sam-O Park

Baker City’s Sam-O Park is quite a collection of recreational activities. Amenities on the 3.34- acre property includes property include a skate park, a basketball court that converts to a winter ice rink and the Sam-O Swim Center, with hot springs used as one source for heating the pool. The Sam-O Dog Park is located adjacent to the park as well. 

Hu-Na-Hu RV Park

Situated on the Grande Ronde River in Elgin, Hu-Na-Hu RV Park offers camping in a quaint, relaxing setting for everyone from tent campers to motorhomes. 

High Desert Parks & Recreation

This nonprofit organization manages sports, activities and recreation for youth and adults in Harney County. Various sports leagues, a community swimming pool, cornhole tournaments and even a father/daughter dance are priorities for this group. 

Make your next adventure in town

We encourage you to get outside, explore, do something new and bring a friend. Eastern Oregon has much to offer, and our parks and recreation opportunities allow for enjoyment by all community members. Still, only some take advantage of these opportunities. There are many ways you can help spread the word. Share posts about our parks and rec on social media. Invite friends to visit, leave positive reviews on Facebook and Google and become an ambassador for our community. Connect with the Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter to learn more about the opportunities awaiting you in Eastern Oregon!