January Featured Park: Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site
In 1922, Oregon’s first State Park was established on land donated by Sarah Helmick along the Luckiamute River. That land, about five and a half acres, is now just a small fraction of the land preserved as State Parks and natural areas in Oregon. Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site has been increased in size several times, through land donations and purchases, so that it now covers more than 30 acres and includes two reservable day-use areas, perfect for family gatherings and group celebrations.
Fishing and picnicking are popular at the park, which is just a few miles south of Monmouth, and there are paths to walk along the river.
If you have a road trip planned along Highway 99W, Sarah Helmick State Park is a great place to stop and have a picnic lunch, being less than half a mile from the highway. Take Old Fort Road to the west and then take a left at Helmick Road, and the park is just on the right, across the river.
2022: 100 years of State Parks
It is now 100 years since Sarah Helmick donated the original parcel of land that became Sarah Helmick State Park, and there is much to celebrate. There are now more than 250 State Parks managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD).
To commemorate the anniversary, there will be a community picnic on State Parks Day (June 4th) at Sarah Helmick State Park, and other events throughout the year. You can learn more about the centennial on the State Parks Website, or the Oregon Blue Book State Park Centennial Project.