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Benson State Recreation Area
Benson State Recreation Area © Bonnie Moreland (free images) / Public Domain
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Benson State Park
Cascade Locks, Oregon   97014
(lat:45.5773 lon:-122.1288) map location

Phone: 800-551-6949
Simon Benson was a lumber magnate, philanthropist, and one of the principal promoters of the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway. Located one mile west of Multnomah Falls on I-84 at milepost 30 (eastbound access only), picnickers love this park; there's even a disc golf course and a reservable shelter for groups.

Free Fishing Day is an annual event around the first weekend of June (call 1-800-551-6949 for details). Anyone can bring their own pole (or use equipment provided) to try their luck catching some of the thousands of rainbow trout stocked each month into the lake between March and October. This is a non-motorboat lake, so it's perfect for rowboats and swimmers.
History of the Area
Benson State Recreation Area is a picturesque park located in the state of Oregon. It was established on land that was once inhabited by Native American tribes, who utilized its natural resources for their livelihoods.

During the 19th century, European settlers began to explore and settle in this region. The area surrounding Benson became known for its lush forests, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. These features attracted outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country.

In the early 20th century, efforts were made to preserve these natural wonders as recreational areas accessible to everyone. As part of this initiative, Benson State Recreation Area came into existence under an agreement between local authorities and conservation organizations.

Over time, various amenities were added within Benson's boundaries including picnic areas with tables and grills where families could gather for meals amidst nature's beauty. Additionally boating facilities such as boat ramps allowed visitors easy access to enjoy water activities like fishing or kayaking on nearby lakes.
Enjoy fishing in a serene lake setting, home to rainbow trout. The area also offers opportunities for bass fishing.

Benson State Recreation Area offers picnic tables, grills and restrooms. It's ideal for family picnics with a beautiful lake view.
1. Hamilton Mountain Trail: This is a 7.5-mile round trip trail that offers stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge and several waterfalls, including Hardy Falls and Rodney Falls.

2. Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop: A challenging but rewarding hike with an elevation gain of about 1600 feet over its length of approximately five miles; it features beautiful vistas as well as iconic sights like Fairy falls and Wahkeena falls.

3. Oneonta Gorge Trail: An easy one mile out-and-back trail leading to Lower Oneonta Fall which involves wading through creek waters in certain sections making for a unique hiking experience.

4. Horsetail & Ponytail Falls Hike: It's around three miles long featuring two spectacular waterfall views along the way - The horsetail-shaped fall from where it gets its name, followed by Upper Horsetail or 'Ponytail' fall further up on the path.

5. Wakeenah Creek Trails: These trails are perfect for those looking for less strenuous hikes while still enjoying lush greenery, creekside paths,and small cascades throughout their journey.

6. Angel's Rest:Devil's Rest loop: At nearly ten-miles-long this demanding trek rewards hikers with panoramic gorge viewpoints at Angel's rest before heading into dense forest towards Devil's rest summit.

7. Larch mountain Crater loop: This fourteen:mile-loop starts off at Benson State Recreation Area taking you past multiple waterfalls,through old growth forests ending in Sherrard Point atop Larch Mountain offering breathtaking view points.

8. Bridal Veil Waterfall Loop: A short half-a-mile walk suitable even for families with young children leads to Bridal veil waterfall viewing platform overlooking scenic canyon below.

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1. Start by heading west on Highway 84 from Portland.
2. Continue driving for approximately 20 miles until you reach Exit 18 towards Multnomah Falls/Bridal Veil.
3. Take the exit and merge onto Historic Columbia River Highway/Highway 30 East.
4. Drive eastbound on Highway 30 for about half a mile, then turn left into the entrance of Benson State Recreation Area.

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Oregon State Parks