Why did we turn Cottonwood into a park?
Part of being an Oregonian is this strong need to enjoy the outdoors and the human stories that go along with them. We regularly look at how well the state park system serves different regions of the state, and match that up against the need to protect different kinds of natural and historical landscapes. Our community networking and surveys show Oregonians are interested in more land and water trails, uncrowded camping and beautiful, rugged landscapes. Cottonwood provided these things in an area where few state parks exist.
Strong recreation potential, fascinating human stories—from the Native American presence through to today’s vibrant ranchland heritage—coupled with the rich John Day River canyonland setting all led us to turn this place into a state park.