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Top Places to Picnic

Published: June 29, 2020

 

Social distancing can be difficult. Make it easier for your family with an escape to the outdoors. Here is a list of the top places to picnic in peace in the Eugene - Springfield area and beyond. 

Hendricks Park

Hendricks Park in the Springtime by Melanie Griffin
Hendricks Park in the Springtime by Melanie Griffin

 

Hendricks Park is a beautiful rhododendron and native plant garden located near the University of Oregon. After a lazy lunch among the flowers, hike the many trails through the gardens and beyond into the ferns and evergreen forest. The park offers restrooms, tables, water and a shelter. 

Alton Baker Park

Picnic at Alton Baker Park by Melanie Griffin

Alton Baker Park is near downtown Eugene and the University of Oregon making it a popular choice for a quick picnic. Although this park is popular and centrally located, you can still find a quiet place to yourself on the 373 acres. Bring your pup along for a run at the dog park or try out the disc golf course. 

Perkins Peninsula

Perkins Peninsula by Eugene, Cascades & Coast
Perkins Peninsula by Eugene, Cascades & Coast
 

Perkins Peninsula is a green park on Fern Ridge Reservoir. There is a boat ramp, swimmable beach, baseball diamond, picnic tables, restrooms and a large grassy lawn for laying out your picnic blanket and spread of goodies. Fern Ridge is also a prime spot for birdwatching so bring your binoculars along too. 

Mount Baldy

Mount Baldy Viewpoint by Melanie Griffin
Mount Baldy Viewpoint by Melanie Griffin 
 

Earn all the treats in your lunchbox with a little hike up to the top of Mount Baldy. The entire loop is just under one mile long and offers various stunning views. This moderate hike is part of the grander Ridgeline Trail and is located just minutes from downtown Eugene. 

Armitage Park

Armitage Park by Melanie Griffin
Armitage Park by Melanie Griffin
 

Picnic along the McKenzie River at Armitage Park at the edge of the city. There are restrooms, grills, tables, a small boat ramp and short wheelchair-accessible paths beside the river. After a lazy meal in the grass, take a stroll across the old railroad bridge for a better view of Osprey that frequently hunt the river. 

Island Park

Island Park sits along the Willamette River in Springfield. The Ruth Bascom Riverfront bike path connects this park with Alton Baker Park and downtown Eugene. There are restrooms, tables and two playgrounds. 

Beyond Eugene - Springfield

Cleawox Lake

Cleawox Lake by Taylor Higgins
Cleawox Lake by Taylor Higgins

 

If you don't mind a sandy picnic blanket, this lake in the coastal dunes is a perfect place to enjoy a meal in the outdoors. Bring your kayak or stand up paddleboard or just go for a swim! Your family will love running up and down the dunes and putting their toes in the water. Cleawox Lake is located at Jessie Honeyman State Park just four minutes from Florence.

Baker Bay

Baker Bay campground by Melanie Griffin
Baker Bay campground by Melanie Griffin
 

Baker Bay is a beautiful space beside Dorena Lake East of Cottage Grove where the family can swim or play sand volleyball. Still need more exercise and fresh air after the meal? Ride the nearby Row River bike path. Or keep it nice and easy with a driving tour of historic covered bridges

Greenwaters Park

Greenwaters Park Oakridge by Melanie Griffin
Greenwaters Park Oakridge by Melanie Griffin
 

Greenwaters Park is a great picnic spot after hiking to see Salt Creek and Diamond Creek Falls or before mountain biking one of Oakridge's incredible trails. Located just past Oakridge on Highway 58 and full of amenities including restrooms, tables and a playground. This is the perfect picnic spot for you if you needed to take a little drive and get away from the city. 

Author: Melanie Ryan Griffin

Melanie is a University of Oregon graduate who studied Cultural Anthropology and Cinema. After finishing school, she worked as a touring concert photographer for many years before expanding into writing concert and album reviews for online publications. Melanie is now the Content Manager for Travel Lane County. She has lived in Eugene for more than a decade. She has also lived in California, New Mexico, Florida, Spain and Slovakia but loves Oregon the most.

Melanie enjoys exploring the vibrant arts and culture scene in Eugene.  She also loves painting, cooking for friends, dancing, hiking and buying too many house plants. Follow her Instagram for Lane County's best kept secrets.