The Visitor Center is closed. Find information via website, phone, & email. Click here for Benton Co. COVID-19 resources.
Marci Sischo | 04/24/2020 | Archived

Coping with Cabin Fever During Quarantine

Spring has sprung, the weather's great (at least some of the time 😉), and we're all stuck inside. If you're anything like me, cabin fever is driving you up a wall.

If you feel safe heading outside, I recommend going for a walk - as long as you can maintain social distancing with other community members. You can also get out for a bike ride - just remember to leave a wide berth for other bikers and walkers. You may also want to consider wearing a mask while you're biking and walking, even if you're staying away from everyone else. You never know, and it doesn't hurt. Also, don't touch your face and wash your hands when you get home.

In Benton County, parks are still open for hiking, biking, walking, and running activities, as long as you maintain social distancing, but playgrounds are closed. Learn more.

In the City of Corvallis, all sports fields and courts are closed (except the disc golf field, but you must maintain social distancing), and all playground areas are closed. So, for example, you can go to Avery Park, but you can't let the kids play on the dinosaur bones, playground equipment, or the Georgia Pacific train engine. Learn more.

UPDATE (5/8/20): Oregon State University's McDonald and Dunn Research Forests are now open for recreation, with new safety guidelines. Some Oregon State Parks are now open for limited use as well.

For more detailed information, you can call Corvallis Parks & Recreation at 541-766-6918, and Benton County Natural Areas & Parks at 541-766-6871.

We have some fun walking maps available online: the Atomic Ranch Neighborhood Tour, the Avery Helm Historic District Walking Tour, the College Hill West Historic District Walking Tour, and two Franklin Square Walking Tours. And, although some of the things mentioned in it are closed at the moment, we do have a blog post full of useful hiking and biking resources.

If you'd rather stick to your own backyard, this might be a good time to take up gardening. The OSU Master Gardener program is offering streaming classes right now. The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition has a page of resources with some home-based outdoors activities, too, including their Garden Resource Guide, their Backyard Wildlife Connections page, and a section on bird watching from your home (towards the bottom, under "Natural Areas").

If you're completely new to gardening, NPR's Life Kit has a starter guide that even talks about gardening on your balcony or in a window box.

And finally, if you don't have a backyard, or if you can't leave the house or don't feel safe leaving the house, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of livestreams and webcams! Many organizations and individuals run livestreaming cameras online. For example:

That's just the tip of the iceberg. A quick Google search or a search on YouTube will bring up tons of nature cameras showcasing everything from someone's birdfeeder to a backyard trail cam that often features raccoons and deer to a livefeed of a bald eagle nest, and more. Enjoy!

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Please Note: Benton County, Oregon, is currently rated "High Risk" according to Oregon's new COVID-19 safety framework. Learn what this means for you. Masks are required for those 5 years old and above in all indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces where a physical distance of at least six feet cannot be maintained. Travelers are advised to stay home. Businesses may be operating with altered hours, requiring appointments, and/or have additional safety requirements in place. Please call ahead to businesses you're interested in visiting to confirm if they're open and what they're requiring.
Visit Corvallis
420 NW 2nd Street
Corvallis, OR 97330
800-334-8118
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Closed Saturdays and Sundays