Campgrounds are busy as parks ease restrictions in time for Memorial Day

Even with all the people, campers practiced proper social distancing.

Posted: May 24, 2020 6:07 PM
Updated: May 24, 2020 8:01 PM

EUGENE, Ore.-- Campgrounds are full this holiday weekend, as people jump at the chance to pitch a tent and take a breath of fresh air.

Armitage Park Campground in Eugene was nearly full of people, enjoying card games, biking, and the sunshine. Even with all the people, campers practiced proper social distancing. Tera Schmeling and her family booked their reservations within an hour of campgrounds opening up.

"If you know our family this means the world to us," Schmeling said. "We camp all the time so it's been hard not to get out and camp."

Lane County Parks is not the only one who opened their campsites last week. The Willamette National Forest announced a select number of campgrounds would open up Friday to visitors. This includes Paradise, Delta, Black Canyon, and Yukwah Campgrounds.

For Schmeling, she and her family are looking forward to more trips at campgrounds as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer.

"In February we actually reserved most of the summer," Schmeling said. "I'm hoping those reservations stay and we can continue to the camp for the rest of the summer."

Certain restrictions at Lane County Campgrounds will stick around. Some of those include the closure of picnic areas, playgrounds, showers, and laundry rooms. Schmeling said these new rules have not changed her camping experience.

"For us it hasn't been really any different because we are very self-contained," Schmeling said.

Even with new guidelines, Schmeling said she and her family are just thrilled to be out of the house.

"It's just a relief to get a little bit of normalcy back into our lives and it seems silly in the past that this was closed off," Schmeling said. "We're not really around anybody else but our family right now, so I'm glad they opened up their parks."

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