Dorena Lake

• Dorena Lake is a fantastic place for camping, fishing, swimming, and hiking
• The lake hosts bass fishing tournaments

SwimmingHiking OregonFishing OregonBoatingPicnickingCamping

Dorena Lake or Dorena Reservoir is an artificial lake east of Cottage Grove. It is situated among marshland, grasslands, and coniferous forests with scenic rolling hills. The area is also home to various animals and birds.

This picture-perfect place has plenty of outdoor adventures in beautiful central Oregon nature. The lake is fantastic for swimming, boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and other water activities. At the same time, the surrounding area is a paradise for camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, or simply enjoying nature.

Dorena Dam impounds the Row River, creating Dorena Reservoir. US Army Corps of Engineers constructed the dam in 1949 as a part of the 13-dam project in the Willamette River's basin.

The main goal of the Dorena Dam is to stop flooding caused by heavy rain and melted snow in the surrounding mountains. As a nice bonus, it got us a fantastic area for outdoor adventures.

Dorena Lake
Dorena Lake
Dorena Lake
Dorena Lake
Picnic Area

Things To Do

Swimming and Boating

Dorena Lake is an excellent place for swimming and other water activities. Baker Bay Park, Harms Park, Schwarz Park, and other spots are great to swim at and launch kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards.

The lake is open to both motorized and non-motorized boats. With 13 miles of shore and 1,840 acres of surface area, there is plenty of space for everyone.

There are 2 boat ramps at Harms Park and Baker Bay Park. Boat ramps may not be usable if the water level is low.

Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Riding

Dorena Reservoir and its surrounding area have many trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians.

The Dorena Lake Loop is a 14.1-mile (22.7 km) hike around the lake's entire length. You can pick separate sections of the path, like the 4-mile (6.4 km) Row River Trail, to shorten your hike or ride.

Nature Viewing and Wildlife Watching

Rolling hills, marshland, grasslands, and coniferous forests surround Dorena Lake. This area is home to waterfowl, swallows, yellow-breasted chat, bald eagle, great blue heron, osprey, great egret, and other species.


Dorena Lake is a fantastic location for both bank and boat fishing, with a maximum depth of 97 feet and an average depth of 42 feet. You can angle from the bank and multiple spots around the lake, including parks, and launch your boat at Harms Park and Baker Bay Park.

It is a fantastic spot for fishing. The ODFW stocks Dorena with hatchery rainbow trout from late winter into mid-spring, occasionally in the early fall. Trout fishing is the best during these times, but can be productive all year long.

The lake is also popular for small and largemouth bass fishing. There are even bass fishing tournaments held here. Spring is the best time to fish for bass when the big fish move into shallow water to feed and spawn.

Interestingly, smallmouth bass have recently become more established, reducing the largemouth bass population.

The reservoir also has crappie, brown bullhead catfish, and bluegill. You can catch those species right from the shore.

The Oregon Health Authority has posted a permanent recommendation to limit the consumption of year-round resident fish caught here due to naturally occurring mercury. However, hatchery-planted trout is generally safe to eat.

Please always verify state and local fishing regulations.

Dorena Lake: Camping and Lodging

There are 2 campgrounds around the lake. You can camp at Schwarz Park Campground and Baker Bay Park Campground.

Schwarz Campground has 59 campsites for tents, RVs, and trailers. There are also several double campsites. This spot is a perfect base camp for boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming, hiking, and other outdoor activities. You can reserve your spot at

Baker Bay Campground has 48 campsites for RVs, trailers, and tents, along with 5 premier campsites near the water. There are also 2 group sites, a designated swimming area, a boat lunch, and a playground. You can reserve your spot at

Lodging in Eugene

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Cottage Groove

Dorena Lake Day-Use Areas

Rat Creek Bridge on the Row River Recreational Trail is a scenic viewpoint with trail access for hikers and bike riders.

Harms Park is a small day-use area with picnic tables, developed walkways, restrooms, and a boat ramp.

Bake Stewart Park provides picnic tables, restrooms, and has blooming wildflowers in the spring.

Vaughn County Park is a beautiful spot with picnic tables, restrooms, and a swimming area.

Schwarz Park and Campground is the largest park on the lake, full of old-growth trees and other vegetation. There is lake access, picnic tables, restrooms with running water, drinking water, and a playground for kids.

Baker Bay Park and Campground is a well-developed day-use and camping area. There are a lot of picnic tables, restrooms with running water, and a marina with a boat ramp.

Dorena Covered Bridge

Dorena Covered BridgeDorena Covered Bridge is the newest of all other historic covered bridges in Oregon spanning Row River near Dorena Lake. The surrounding area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy swimming, fishing, boating, picnicking, hiking, camping, and nature viewing.



Dorena Lake | Facts

Open: Year-round
Managed by: Lane County and US Army Corps of Engineers

Amenities: Restrooms, picnic sites, campsites, drinking water, boat ramps, playgrounds, marina
Activities: Boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, camping, horseback riding, hiking, and nature viewing

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes at some areas or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Pass

Elevation: 835 ft (255 m)

Dorena Lake is located:

  • 7 miles east of Cottage Grove
  • 28 miles southeast of Eugene
  • 57 miles northeast of Roseburg.

Body of water: Artificial lake
Surface area: 1,840 acres
Shoreline: 13 miles (21 km)
Maximum depth: 97 ft (30 m)

Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: Varies
Water T° (summer): Warm

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Dorena Lake Schwarz Park

From Cottage Grove,

  • Take Whiteaker Ave East/Mosby Creek Road
  • Turn left onto Currin Con and then right onto Row River Road/Row River Cutoff Road
  • Follow Row River Road/Row River Cutoff Road for 3.4 miles
  • Continue onto Government Road/Shoreview Drive for 1.8 miles.

Address: 34909 Shoreview Dr, Cottage Grove, Oregon
Phone: 877-444-6777

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