Areas of Santiam State Forest to reopen on New Year’s Day


The Little North Santiam Canyon months after the Beachie Creek Fire, December 2020 (Courtesy: Zach Urness)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Crews have been busy restoring areas across Oregon following the wildfires that scorched much of the region in 2020, and officials say areas of the Santiam State Forest will reopen on New Year’s Day.

Nearly 4,000 acres of the forest near Highway 22 have been closed to the public over the past year. The Niagara block and Rocky Top Trail are some of the areas that have been off-limits.

The Beachie Creek, Lionshead and Riverside wildfires damaged approximately 16,600 of the forest’s 47,465 acres. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry has worked to salvage burned timber and replant the forest. The state auctioned off burned timber that was old enough to be used for lumber. Nearly two-thirds of the proceeds collected through the auction go back to the counties where it was harvested, according to ODF. The funds are often directed to education, health care, road maintenance and parks. 

Recreation officials are repairing trails, replacing infrastructure and removing hazardous materials across the park.

A full breakdown of the re-opening timelines can be found on Oregon’s recreation page.

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