Located along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, Elijah Bristow State Park has a wide variety of outdoor activity options to satisfy those looking for a chance to connect with nature. With 847 acres and 12 miles of trails, there is plenty of room for exploration. The meadows, woodlands, and waterways provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, so be sure to bring your binoculars. Birding and other wildlife viewing is around every turn. Keep an eye out for herons, eagles, osprey, beavers, and even pond turtles.
The park is popular with equestrians, and on sunny days you can encounter many riders along the trails. A separate parking lot and equestrian staging area with a covered picnic shelter and vault toilet are just a few of the amenities located here. The trails are also used by mountain bikers. If you're hiking the trails, be sure to yield to the bikers and horseback riders. There are some trails specifically for hikers only, and these are well marked on signposts throughout the park.
Water and river access is also available through the park trails, but there is no boat ramp. Kayakers and canoeists who wish to put in at this spot along the Willamette River can do so. Sections of the park are part of riparian restoration project. Interpretive signs communicate the important restoration efforts in this area.
The group picnic sites are available to reserve through the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department. The group sites in the main park area include picnic tables, fire pits, and barbecues (but no covered shelter). Other picnic areas are on a first-come, first-served basis and are located near the trailheads and off-leash area.