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Dexter State Recreation Site

Willamette Valley, Oregon

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Dexter State Recreation Site

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  • The entrance to Dexter State Recreation Site.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • Dexter State Recreation Site.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • A pedestrian dock at Dexter State Recreation Site. Note the sign warning of blue-green algae.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • The boat ramp at Dexter State Recreation Site.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • Ample trailer space at Dexter State Recreation Site.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • A senic hole on the 18-hole disc golf course.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • The walk across the dam.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • The trails just below Dexter Dam.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • The course winds down into an oak grove.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • The third hole begins with a great drive.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • The disc golf course at Dexter State Recreation Site.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • The trail area beneath the dam at Dexter State Recreation Site.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • Dexter Dam.- Dexter State Recreation Site
  • The boat ramp on the Middle Fork of the Willamette just below Dexter Dam.- Dexter State Recreation Site
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Eugene. Substantial boat ramp. 18-hole disc golf course. Free.
Cons: 
Reservoir water quality can be questionable.
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Region:
Willamette Valley, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Dexter Reservoir enjoys two main points of access: Lowell State Recreation Site and Dexter State Recreation Site. Each offers excellent water access via large boat ramps and ample parking and trailer space, and each offers free, year-round day use access to all of their amenities, including picnic tables and fire pits.  Of the two, Dexter State Recreation Site is closest to Eugene and is perhaps less ideal for shore-based reservoir activities.

Dexter State Recreation Site’s most unique feature, however, isn’t necessarily reservoir related.  The park’s excellent 18-hole disc golf course keeps a steady stream of visitors coming throughout the year.  The course begins near the parking area overlooking the water, and it quickly moves downhill into the oak trees.  Here the course gets a little tighter and more challenging, but the course does a great job of keeping open drive opportunities available throughout.  Given the proximity to Eugene, the course is a great option for a casual morning or afternoon.

Dexter State Recreation Site stretches out quite a bit from the area you see from the parking lot.  Walk across the dam for a look down the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, or walk down past the disc golf course for the short trail network below the dam.  Bikes and horses are permitted, and a trail runs downriver to Elijah Bristow State Park.  Just below the dam you’ll also find an unimproved boat ramp for access to the river.

Note: Like many of the reservoirs in the area, Dexter Reservoir does suffer from periodic blooms of blue-green algae.  Blue-green algae are a cyanotoxin that can cause skin irritations through casual contact and serious health issues if ingested (purification and filtration is ineffective).  This applies to all mammals, i.e. humans and dogs, and it also means that area drinking water should be avoided and that fish from the reservoir should not be consumed while an algae bloom is in effect.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

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(82 within a 30 mile radius)

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