Dorena Reservoir is an 1,800-acre reservoir created by the damming of the Row River as it flows from the Willamette Foothills toward Cottage Grove. Both Dorena Reservoir and Cottage Grove Lake were products of the Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to control occasional flooding in the 1940s. Today Dorena is an incredibly popular recreational area with four public access points. Baker Bay, located along the more heavily trafficked Shoreview Drive, is a popular choice both for its many park amenities and its campground.
The park consists of three sections: the northwest section is the picnic and group day use area, the center is home to the main swimming and boating access, and the southeast area is devoted to the campground. Visitors first arrive at the fee station above the large boat ramp and marina. Abundant individual picnic tables, two capacious and reservable picnic areas with electricity and running water, large grassy fields, volleyball and horseshoe areas, and hiking trails are all off to the left. A large concession stand provides the necessities and also rents out canoes and stand-up paddleboards. Baker Bay is well known as a family-friendly swimming area, and a gentle slope into relatively shallow water is just right for new swimmers. An inflatable trampoline is moored just off shore, as well. No lifeguard is on duty here, but swimmers are easily observed from the surrounding grassy fields. Alternately, you can skip the designated swimming area for additional shoreline access that is closer to the picnic areas. Showers are located just above the boat ramp near the campground.