What’s to Love: Milo McIver State Park is located along the Clackamas River and is only about 30 miles from Portland. For being so close to Portland, it has an “off-the-beaten-path” feel to it. There are some nice picnic areas with grills and plenty of camping, but it’s the disc golf (27 holes) that makes the park a prime destination for the whole family.
Yes, the disc golf was epic! Our whole family played holes 7 – 18, but the entire course looked great. The park service did a great job of clearing out brush and setting up a course with interesting holes, especially around the goals. Make sure to pickup a map when checking-in and paying your day use fee. With that many holes, it’s easy to get off-track and throw at the wrong goal. Here is a link to a review of the course.
If you have time, take a self-guided tour along “The Bat Trail.” There are six stops including “The Bat Barn,” which has evolved into a nursery colony for bats. Kids will enjoy learning more about bats, and it’s likely that you’ll see them flying in the early evening. Here is a short clip of our visit.
Caveats: If the campground is packed, expect a lot of people playing disc golf on the weekends. Unfortunately, we ran into some large crowds featuring some drunk individuals who were rude. It didn’t ruin our time, but they certainly weren’t very helpful when trying to find our way around the course. You could certainly avoid all of this by playing during the week. I’ve heard, you’ll have much of the course to yourself.
Although located on the Clackamas River, don’t expect a nice sandy beach. River access is limited, and if you can find a place to hang, most likely it will be littered with rocks. Therefore, you’ll need to bring some water-shoes, or you will feel the pain!
Website: Oregon State Parks – Milo McIver
Distance from Portland: Only 30 miles! Here is a Google Map.
Recommended Ages: This is a great park and campground for the whole family. If you’re playing disc golf, this is certainly a family friendly course. However, make sure you’re not holding up other parties. The same golf-etiquette applies when throwing discs: if your party is playing slow, let faster players “play through.”
Parental Stress Factor: Even busy, this place has a laid back and relaxed atmosphere. We did get a bit stressed out interacting with some drunk golfers, but they were harmless.
Physical Difficulty: The boat ramps are ADA accessible, and one of the campsites (A10) is accessible to campers with disabilities. Although not ADA accessible, the trails are relatively flat and easy to hike.
Family Fun Factor: River access, fishing, boating, camping, and disc golf! What more do you want? If you put this altogether for a great weekend, your family fun factor is extremely high!
Pet Friendly: Dogs are welcome on leashes. The river access is perfect for dogs to go in for a swim. Watch the current with your animals and kids!
Weather Considerations: Day use is open year
Insider Info: If you’re interested in camping, here is the website to reserve a spot. If you have the resources, this section of the Clackamas River is perfect for tubing, rafting, kayaking, and other boating and fishing. We saw many folks floating down the river while we were playing in and around the rocky shore.
There are really nice (day use) picnic areas with grills, so make sure to bring along your cooler and some things for the grill. This is any easy way to extend your visit to this wonderful little state park.
Family Tips: Bikes are allowed only on the paved park roads. We saw people biking along some of the paths, but according to their brochure, that’s not allowed. My advice is to keep the bikes at home for this park. If you want to bring bikes, try Champoeg State Park.
Make sure you bring plenty of water, you can refill at the restrooms and/or campground. While playing disc golf, there isn’t much cover for the majority of the holes. Therefore, make sure you bring sunscreen and/or hats. The course gets long, so make sure you have a stroller or backpack handy for whiny/tired kids.
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Driftwood Beach State Park on October 3rd, 2009
Cape Lookout State Park on November 3rd, 2007
Sandy River Delta: Got Dog? on April 24th, 2012