Camp Oregon recently had a chance to speak with one of the Park Rangers from Ainsworth State Park in Oregon. She shared with us the history of the park, how to secure a campsite in the park, and where to see the highest concentration of waterfalls in North America. Listen to our full interview here:
Ainsworth State Park Camping OR
Camp Oregon: I’m talking with Mo today. She’s a Ranger at Ainsworth State Park in Oregon. Melissa is your name, but you go by Mo.
Mo: I go by Mo.
CO: All right. Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit of history on the Park there? How it got started.
CO: A local steamboat captain who apparently did pretty well for himself back in the day.
Mo: Yeah, definitely. I mean the river was pretty much one of the main. Between the river and the railroad that was pretty much the main way any goods would get to or from the east part of Oregon to the west part of Oregon and vice versa. And wasn’t until they put the historic highway in, which was actually the first paved road in Oregon, that there was actually car traffic or truck traffic that was able to get to the area. So, yes, our steamboat captains at one point were the kings of the freight.
CO: Pretty cool. Pretty cool. Now, tell me what types of camping you have there at Ainsworth State Park.
CO: And how often do you have to turn people away, if it’s full?
Mo: Well, in the summertime, definitely we encourage people to get there Thursday or early on a Friday. In the summertime, definitely, it’s harder to find a spot there if you show up on a midday on Saturday, but spring and fall you are almost always going to find a spot weekdays or weekends.
CO: Okay, cool. And what are the most popular activities there for guests?
CO: Sure. Sure.
Mo: And also, just being right along the Columbia River, you have access to great fishing as well as swimming in the summer and that kind of stuff. And Ainsworth State Park is situated about 35 miles outside of Downtown Portland. So, if you forget anything or want a night on the town while you’re camping, you can get there within 45 minutes.
CO: Very cool. Two more questions for you, Mo. If you could spend just one hour at Ainsworth State Park, how would you spend your time there?
Mo: Well, we do have a great firewood sale there from our amazing host, so it’s nice in the evening to have a little campfire and roast some marshmallows. But during the daytime, I would be doing a lot of hiking. There is rock formations, waterfalls, amazing stuff literally right outside the campsite. You can actually even see them from most of your campsites. So I’d be doing a lot of hiking and just kind of enjoying the nature of the area.
CO: Cool. And if you could spend just one night in Ainsworth State Park, which specific campsite would you choose and why?
CO: Very cool. Well, hey Mo, thank you so much for taking a little bit of time out of your day today to tell us about Ainsworth State Park in Oregon.
Mo: Yeah, no problem.