Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Clackamas County READ MORE

County encourages safe use of parks over upcoming holiday week, summer season

Main Content

From: Dylan Blaylock, Clackamas County Public & Government Affairs, 503-742-5917

Media and Interested Parties

Fireworks ban, water temperature awareness promoted

Warm weather and the upcoming July 4 holiday are expected to drive flocks of people to the beautiful rivers of Clackamas County in the coming days. County officials are urging all visitors to observe both park rules and water safety protocol, while advising the public on expected congestion issues.

Fireworks ban

All fireworks, including sparklers, are prohibited inside county parks. Fires are only allowed in designated fire receptacles, which are not to be moved. Fires must be extinguished upon departure. Read the Clackamas County Parks rules at

Cold water awareness

Further, county officials are reminding park visitors that river water can be especially dangerous this time of year.

“Despite the warm temperatures, the Clackamas, Molalla and Sandy rivers can be surprisingly cold and can pose a real threat to swimmers,” said Clackamas County Parks and Forest Manager Rick Gruen. “The coldness of the water and swift currents can place even experienced swimmers in serious jeopardy. Please exercise caution.”

All river users should come prepared with personal flotation devices that should be worn at all times while on the water. Swimmers are strongly advised to wear a life jacket. Paddle board users are required to have lifejackets. Boaters are required to have floatation devices and whistles on board and are subject to fines if they do not. 

River safety tips include:

  • Wear a life jacket
  • Have a whistle or noisemaker in case you need to call for help
  • Don’t swim alone
  • Be aware of low water levels, and branches and other objects just below the surface
  • Don’t dive into water unless you are sure of the depth
  • Don’t leave children unattended in or near the water
  • Know your limits and don’t overexert yourself
  • Don’t drink alcohol during water activities, including swimming and boating


In accordance with county ordinance, deputies will be inspecting personal items to check for alcohol in county park day use areas. Alcohol is prohibited in County parks, except by permit in designated reserved picnic areas and campsites. People who refuse the inspections will be asked to leave the park.


During the upcoming holiday and on weekends, heavy congestion may occur at both Carver Park (along Highway 224, Springwater Road and Hattan Road) and Barton Park (along Bakers Ferry Road and Barton Park Road). It is possible that both parks will reach full parking capacity.

If this occurs, for Barton Park, only members of the public traveling in vehicles that have prior camping or shelter reservations will be allowed entry. Commercial shuttles are still allowed in after that time. Due to safety concerns, pedestrians will not be allowed into Barton Park at any time.

For more information, members of the media or public may contact Parks and Forest Manager Rick Gruen at 503-742-4345 or