• Fern Ridge Lake is a beautiful "escape-the-city" destination
• Eugene Yacht Club hosts multiple regattas and championships here
Fern Ridge Lake, aka Fern Ridge Reservoir, sits near the small city of Veneta, a short drive from Eugene. This fantastic getaway has 6 developed parks, numerous secluded spots around the lake, a campground, an RV park. You can pick from Richardson Park, Richardson Park Campground, West Kirk Park, Orchard Point Park, Shore Lane Park, Perkins Peninsula Park, Zumwalt Park, Fern Ridge Shores RV Park, and many other places.
It is also home to the Eugene Yacht Club, hosting multiple regattas and championships yearly. In addition to yachting and boating, the lake is your "escape-the-city" destination, with a ton of other things to do.
Come here for swimming, picnicking, camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, and other fun activities.
The Fern Ridge Dam, completed in 1942, impounds Long Tom River, creating a 9,360-acre lake. This is one of 13 Willamette Valley dams operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The primary purpose of Fern Ridge Dam and Reservoir is flood control. Additional uses for the complex include crop irrigation, water navigation, and municipal water quality improvement.
From May through September, the water level in the lake is kept high to accommodate recreational activities.
Fern Ridge Reservoir is a fantastic place for summer and early fall swimming. Water temperature in July is around 85°F (29°C). The lake has a sandy bottom and numerous sandy beaches.
You can also enjoy kayaking, canoeing,paddle boarding, water skiing, and fishing.
The lake is a popular destination for sailing enthusiasts. There are three areas with boat ramps around the reservoir: Orchard Point Park, Perkins Peninsula Park, and Richardson Park. Eugene Yacht Club, located at the reservoir, hosts yearly regattas and yachting championships.
Fern Ridge Lake is a fantastic place for largemouth bass and crappie fishing.
While you can get a good catch bank fishing, a boat here is ideal since many areas, like wetlands, are unreachable by the shore.
The lake and the surrounding area are home to many birds and animals. Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is a wildlife management zone around parts of the reservoir. This is a unique habitat for various species, including wintering waterfowl populations.
Throughout the year, this area hosts over 250 species of birds, including bald eagles, ducks, swans, geese, osprey, great-horned owl, red-shouldered hawk, turkey vulture, and many others. You can also spot bears, bobcats, elk, black-tailed deer, coyotes, opossums, raccoons, mink, beavers, nutria, and other animals.
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is a fall and winter hunting spot for big game, pheasants, quail, dove, duck, snipe, and goose. Check the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for the current hunting regulations.
Richardson Park Campground and Fern Ridge Shores RV Park are two places to camp at the lake. Richardson Park Campground is the largest developed park in the County Parks system, covering 115 acres, and has easy access from major roads in all directions. The campground has 88 campsites, spacious day-use area, three picnic shelters, 8,000 square-foot picnic shelter with a full-service outdoor kitchen, 212-slip marina, swimming area, playground, and outdoor amphitheater.
Fern Ridge Shores RV Park has a total of 62 RV sites with 50 amp electrical service, sewer hookup, water supply, cable TV, telephone access, and trash pickup.
Fern Ridge Lake | Facts
Open: Year-round, from sunrise to sunset
Managed by: United States Army Corps of Engineers
Amenities: Restrooms, campground, picnic tables, fire rings, showers, drinking water, boat ramp
Activities: Swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, boating, yachting, camping, picnicking, hunting
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 400 ft (122 m)
Fern Ridge Lake is located:
6 miles northeast of Vaneta
15 miles northwest of Eugene
69 miles southwest of Salem.
Directions to Fern Ridge Lake
From Veneta to Richardson Park Campground,
- Take Territorial Hwy N for 5 miles
- Turn right onto Clear Lake Road for 0.3 miles
- Turn right onto Richardson Park Road.