Overflow Parking Has Quietly Arrived

While we anxiously awaited a parking solution to relieve the congestion of spring and early summer visitors, the recent completion of the overflow lot had little fanfare.

May and June left record numbers of Smith Rock visitors parking up to 2 miles outside of the park. Late July’s heat has reduced traffic immensely, so no need for the lot as of yet. For more background, here you go.

overflow-parking-Smith-RockSince the 100 spot parking lot is open by discretion of park management, we may not see it actually in use until September, when visitation picks up again.

The Snake Charmer of Smith Rock

Steve Lay loves snakes and they love him.

As soon as they start to warm up in the late spring, they make the trek to the bridge in Smith Rock State Park with him to help us appreciate them more.

Steve Lay and his snake friend at Smith Rock State ParkA retired school teacher, Steve doesn’t tire of answering dozens of questions from his big-eyed audience, as his unnamed snake wraps around his hands and arms.

In fact, he’s happy to educate an often misinformed and apprehensive public on the role of snakes and how to coexist with them.

But here, let him tell you why he volunteers his time many weekends each year.

Peregrine Falcons Have Flown

The last of the raptor closures, this time for peregrine falcons, has been lifted as of July 31, 2016 at Smith Rock State Park.

peregrine falconThis translates to all of Picnic Lunch Wall climbing routes now open, even those above the first pitch.

Voyage of the Cow Dog is also open.

Golden and bald eagle closures were lifted earlier in the month, ending a hugely successful nesting season this year for the park. In total, 4 peregrine falcons, 2 bald eagles, and 2 golden eagles fledged this season.

Maybe If We Ask Nicely?

New signs asking visitors to “PLEASE stay on the trails” are popping up around the park as yet another plea to the public to help Smith Rock State Park stay special.

Last month SmithRock.com covered the “Smith Rock Needs Your Help” initiative put forth by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

5 Ways to Help Smith Rock poster ask nicely
See the 5 Ways to Help Smith Rock State Park

It outlined 5 ways for visitors to take responsibility for their impact on the park.

It covers everything from self-preparedness and trail preservation to controlling your pet.