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Douglas County: Outdoor fun from the Coast to the Cascades

By Tyler Dungannon
Douglas County, stretching from crest of the Cascades and Diamond Lake to the Pacific Ocean, offers a range of recreational opportunities as diverse as the landscape itself. On a summer day, travelers can experience temperatures in the mid-eighties in the inland valleys to the mid-sixties on the coast.

Douglas County, Oregon, Reedsport, Mt. Bailey, Diamond Lake, Ice Fishing
The variety of outdoor adventures to be enjoyed betweeen Reedsport on the coast and the high mountain lakes of Douglas County are too numerous to list.

The Umpqua River and its main tributaries flow over 100 miles to the Pacific Ocean at Winchester Bay entirely within Douglas County. Home to some of the best fishing opportunities in the West, numerous campgrounds, trails and whitewater-rafting ventures, the North Umpqua River is a lodestone for outdoorsmen. The North Umpqua almost guarantees smallmouth bass fishing success and memorable experiences. It is also considered one of the best summer steelhead destinations in the state and provides great fishing for sturgeon and salmon.

Douglas County, Umpqua River, Southern Oregon
Few rivers in Oregon offer the variety of fish species found in the Umpqua River.

The Umpqua National Forest possesses 43 developed campgrounds along the North Umpqua River. Many trails along the North Umpqua give hikers, bikers and horseback riders opportunities to enjoy the scenery. The largest trail, the North Umpqua Trail, follows the river for 79 miles from Rock Creek into the Mt. Thielsen Wilderness. Waterfalls and meadows are accessible via shorter trails along the river. The North Umpqua provides whitewater rafting and kayaking for all skill levels. From Class 1 waters to roaring Class 4 rapids, every whitewater rafter or kayaker will be pleased.

Diamond Lake is one of Oregon’s premier trout fisheries. Diamond Lake has over 400 campsites, five boat ramps and a lodge that’s open year-round. The lake is a popular getaway any time of the year.

Diamond Lake, Mt. Bailey, Black Bird Trout Derby, Douglas County, S. Oregon
The Black Bird-Diamond Lake trout derby is one of the most popular fishing events in Southern Oregon and draws participants from other states.

With views of Mt. Thielson and Mt. Bailey on both sides of your boat, few Oregon lakes offer such majestic surroundings. More Diamond Lake

North Bank Habitat Area is a public area surrounded by private land that was acquired to meet refuge requirements for delisting the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. Columbian whitetails were removed from state and federal lists and now limited hunting is allowed on the 6,600-acre NBHA. The area is managed by the BLM, which accommodates visitors for hiking and horseback riding. The NBHA also permits controlled black-tailed deer hunting by permit only, as well as upland bird hunting.

Nortrh Bank Habitat Area, S. Oregon, Douglas County
The Columbian whitetail deer  is found only in Douglas County.

Wildlife Safari, just off I-5 at Winston holds great opportunities for native and exotic animal viewing and photography. From brown bears to gemsbok, native and exotic animal species are abundant at this destination. The great cats, camel rides and elephant car wash are particularly popular attractions, and special events are offered. This drive-through view park is perfect for all ages, but not for convertibles or motorcycles. No pets are allowed, but kennels and RV sites are available.

Wildlife Safari, Winston, Douglas County, Oregon
The money raised by this non-profit corporation goes toward important conservation efforts worldwide.

Douglas County includes the full range of urban amenities. Roseburg allows you to do everything from mountain climbing to river rafting to catching a salmon in some of the most attractive country the Northwest has to offer. Roseburg’s mild climate allows for recreational opportunities that few places can offer. You’ll also find brew pups, wineries, restaurants, shopping and lodging.

McMennamins, Roseburg, Douglas County, Southern Oregon
Roseburg, the most populous city of Douglas County is conveniently located next to Interstate 5 along the Umpqua River.

Seven Feathers Casino and Resort, just off I-5 in Canyonville, offers a different type of wild life. Seven Feathers often hosts outdoor-related events, which have included the annual conventions for the Oregon Hunters Association and Oregon Bow Hunters.  Vegas-style gaming, RV camping, luxurious hotel rooms, fine dining and entertainment are provided in the heart of the County’s outdoor paradise.

Reedsport is located on the estuary of the Umpqua River. Reedsport is home to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, a 40-mile area along the coast containing 30 lakes, campgrounds and hiking trails. Reedsport also boasts Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, a great place to view and photograph free-ranging Roosevelt elk.

Douglas County, Dunes, Southern Oregon
Reedsport is known as the Gateway to the Dunes.

The County’s liquid assets include more than just the river and the coast. Ben Irving Reservoir presents angling opportunities for rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch and crappie. Lemolo Reservoir offers Kokanee, a rare treat among Oregon’s fisheries. Trophy size brown and rainbow trout have also been known to come out of this reservoir that is open year-round. A combination of kokanee, brown trout and rainbow trout can be harvested to make up a five-trout limit. Cabins are also available year-round. Loon Lake offers rainbow trout, bass and bluegill. A warm sandy beach and great campground lure outdoor enthusiasts to this Douglas County lake. Camp Sites can be reserved so you never arrive without a spot. Galesville Reservoir is open year-round and rainbow trout and trophy bass are abundant. In addition, this lake also contains coho smolts. Like Lemolo Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are to be combined in the five-per-day trout limit.

diamond lake, galesville reservoir
Lakes in Douglas county also include Lemolo and Galesville Reservoirs. Some of these waters are open year round for a variety of trout and warmwater species.

Hunting chukars in the oaks? It’s possible in Douglas County. The Noble Ridge Hunting Preserve provides upland bird hunts just two miles off Interstate 5 in Oakland, Oregon. The preserve is limited to one party of hunters at a time so hunters receive privacy. Choose to hunt Chukars and/or pheasants with guide and bird dogs or hunt with your own bird dog.

Chukar, deer, elk, quail hunting, Douglas County, Southern Oregon
Douglas County offers great hunting and wildlife viewing from the coast to the crest of the Cascades.

For more than 20 years, the Big K ranch has been offering recreation opportunities in Douglas County. In the heart of Umpqua River Country, this 2,500-acre ranch offers outdoor enthusiasts horseback riding, hunting, fishing and hiking. Their full service restaurant and lodge as well as their 20-plus cabins are perfect for retreats, conferences or reunions. Big K offers hunts for elk, black-tailed deer and pheasants. Fishing at the ranch includes opportunities to catch winter steelhead, chinook, shad, striped and smallmouth bass and silver salmon.

Welcome to Douglas County!

Photos by Todd Harrington, Jason Haley, Travis Marsh, Chad Fife, Sheryl Castleberry Haley, Tyler Dungannon, Sarah Miles, City of Roseburg, City of Reedsport, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Diamond Lake Resort, Bob McCullough and Pat Stoddard

For additional information about Douglas County see visitroseburg.com/

 

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