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The long, rainy days of Oregon’s Willamette Valley can make anyone stir crazy, and sometimes we need to get outside for some fresh air. But mud, not so much. We often choose to visit Jasper State Recreation Site, just minutes from Springfield and stroller-friendly.
Jasper State Recreation Site (I’ll just call it Jasper Park after this) is closed from Sept 1 until May 1, but there’s a small parking area outside the gate and you’re welcome to park there and walk in. There’s no cost while the park is closed, but there are also no amenities such as bathrooms. During the summer, when the park is open, there is a parking fee, but all amenities are operational.
After the playground, we loaded up the stroller again and headed deeper into the park. The roads in Jasper State Park are all paved, so it’s friendly for strollers. It’s also a dog-friendly park; they even have a fenced-in dog park! We don’t have a dog ourselves, but we did see several people walking dogs.
Jasper State Park has four picnic shelters, all of which are reservable. Shelter #4 is the biggest, but Shelter #2 is the prettiest, next to the river.
As we walked along with our kids, we stopped to explore. My daughter picked up a white leaf and wondered if it was real, so we had a discussion about what happens to leaves in the fall and why they change color. My son picked up a couple of sticks. And our baby, in the stroller, reached to touch the leaves of a cedar.
No trip to a riverside park is complete without a stop to throw rocks into the river. There’s a small but broad beach area, and this is perfect for taking a break and skipping rocks.
Jasper State Recreational Site is perfect for a winter walk with kids. It’s safe, wide open, stroller-friendly, and has a playground. There’s also a set of swings at the far end of the park. And while you can see the river, it’s easy to stay far enough way to ensure the safety of little ones.