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Oregon State Parks

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Willamette Valley Region
Santiam State Forest
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North Santiam State Park plays host to some of the most beautiful riverfront in the area. It is one of the finest steelhead fishing spots on the North Santiam River. North Santiam State Park is an undisturbed day-use area with drinking fountain and restroom facilities. Picnic tables dot the grass, making North Santiam State Park a great place to stop to stretch and eat a picnic lunch. Hiking trails show the beauty of the large old-growth trees and the river.
History of the Area
The Santiam State Forest is located in the central Cascade Range of Oregon. Here is a summary of its history:

Early History: Before the arrival of European settlers, the Santiam Canyon, where Santiam State Forest is now located, was primarily inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Kalapuya, Molalla, Santiam, and others. These Native American groups relied on the forest and its resources for hunting, gathering, and various cultural practices.

Logging Expansion: The late 19th century saw widespread logging activities across Oregon, and the Santiam Canyon was no exception. Logging companies began clearcutting large sections of the forest to extract valuable timber, leading to significant environmental degradation.

Creation of Santiam State Forest: By the 1930s, the unsustainable logging practices had taken a toll on the forest, resulting in erosion, soil degradation, and important wildlife habitat loss. In response, the State of Oregon intervened and acquired large portions of the land. In 1949, the Santiam State Forest was officially established.

Rise of Sustainable Forestry: After its establishment, the Santiam State Forest became a testing ground for sustainable forestry practices. The state started implementing careful management strategies to restore and preserve the forest ecosystem while still allowing selective logging. These sustainable practices aimed to balance the economic benefits of logging with environmental protection.

Multiple-Use Management: The Santiam State Forest is managed under a multiple-use philosophy, which means that it aims to provide a range of benefits, including timber production, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat protection, and watershed stewardship. This approach ensures that the forest is managed in a way that benefits both the local communities and the natural environment.

Recreation and Education: In addition to timber production, the Santiam State Forest offers various recreational activities such as hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding. The forest also serves as an important educational resource for schools and community groups, offering programs and interpretive centers to foster understanding and appreciation of the environment.

Collaborative Management: Over the years, collaborative efforts have been made to involve stakeholders, including local communities, Native American tribes, environmental organizations, and government agencies, in the management decisions of the Santiam State Forest. Through partnerships and public input, sustainable management practices have been refined and improved.

Overall, the Santiam State Forest has evolved from an overexploited logging area to a sustainably managed forest that provides a multitude of benefits to Oregonians while protecting the natural environment and offering recreational opportunities.
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Santiam State Forest in Oregon offers several swimming options for visitors. The North Santiam River, which runs through the forest, is a popular spot for swimmers and provides an opportunity to cool off during hot summer days. There are also numerous creeks throughout the forest that offer secluded spots perfect for taking a dip.

Elkhorn Valley Recreation Site located within this state forest has designated areas along Elkhorn Creek where you can swim safely while enjoying scenic views of surrounding wilderness.

For those who prefer lake swimming, Fish Lake Remount Depot Cabins provide access to Fish Lake - known as one of Oregon's best high mountain lakes with clear water ideal for both fishing and swimming.

Shellburg Falls Recreational Area features Shellburg creek running alongside it providing another option if you fancy wilder waters or want some waterfall adventure combined with your swim experience.

Remember always be cautious when entering natural bodies of water due to possible currents or unseen hazards under surface level; safety should always come first!
In this lush woodland area, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of options. The rivers and streams are teeming with different species such as Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. Anglers may choose to fish in the larger bodies of water or opt for smaller creeks that run through the forested landscape. Whether you prefer fly-fishing or traditional rod-and-reel methods, there's something here for everyone who enjoys casting a line amidst beautiful natural surroundings.

Santiam State Forest is located near Silverton, Salem

Santiam State Forest in Oregon offers a variety of picnicking options for visitors. There are several picnic areas scattered throughout the forest, many with tables and grills available on a first-come-first-served basis. Some sites also have restroom facilities nearby for convenience. The lush greenery provides ample shade during sunny days while riverside locations offer beautiful views and opportunities to spot local wildlife or fish. Hiking trails leading from some picnic spots allow you to explore more of this stunning state forest before or after your meal.

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Oregon State Parks