Access to some county parks, roads in Santiam Canyon remains limited

Some county parks and roads in the Santiam Canyon damaged by wildfire will remain closed for repairs and hazard removal as the U.S. Forest Service recently reopened other spots in the area to the public.

The areas of Salmon Falls, Bear Creek, North Fork, Niagra and Minto are staying closed, Marion County announced in a news release Wednesday.

In the North Fork area, only authorized vehicles and pedestrians can use Southeast North Fork Road, Southeast Gates Hill Road and Southeast Pioneer Road.

The roads can’t be used to access Little North Fork or Santiam River, to park within the right of way, or for bicycles to use right of way.

The park closures will allow for rebuilding needed infrastructure in North Fork Park, Salmon Falls Park and Bear Creek Park and campground, and to reduce congestion on North Fork Road and Gates Hill Road.

The Willamette National Forest this week announced some campgrounds and trails were reopened after being closed due to wildfire. Those included the Opal Creek Wilderness and Little North Fork, the news release said.

“While sections of the forest may technically be open, many points of access including some trailheads, roads, and recreation sites remain closed due to ongoing repairs and hazard removal to ensure safe travel to popular recreation spots on county managed roads,” according to the county statement.

A complete map of forest service road closures is available online, and the county frequently updates its website with information related to Marion County parks.

John Huston, field manager for the Bureau of Land Management, said in the release that BLM lands and access points in the Beachie Creek and Riverside fires closure area will remain closed until Oct. 1

A complete map of the agency’s closures is available online

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.