recreation

a visit to Camp Sherman, Oregon

I truly love living in the city, but I very much need to leave and surround myself with nothing but trees, water, stars, and fresh air from time to time. Several months ago, I set out to find somewhere quiet and remote to spend the Fourth of July. Our neighborhood and Portland in general are very loud on the Fourth with fire works, crowds, and parties starting several days before the actual holiday and lasting for several days after. Pre-child the revelry was fun but now the noise is just stressful.

I’m not sure how my internet searches led me to find Camp Sherman, a tiny town along the Metrolius River in central Oregon, but I likely used search terms such as “remote,” “cabin,” and tranquil.” My Google trek led me to this beautiful gem in the wilderness.

We stayed for three nights and had a relaxing and perfect time. The area we stayed had absolutely no cell reception and essentially no internet; being unplugged for four days was a much-needed bonus. The town itself really isn’t a town at all. There is one general store, a community center, a fire station, and a restaurant. And trees. Thousands of trees.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, or are traveling through the area, I definitely recommend at least a couple of nights in Camp Sherman. It’s one of those little corners of the world that just feels so restorative.

Stay:

The Metolius River Resort, Camp Sherman OR
The property includes eleven charmingly appointed cabins, all with decks overlooking the river. Most of the cabins are set up with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living/dining room on the first floor, and an additional large sleeping loft/room above. Everything we needed in the kitchen was stocked. Unfortunately no pets are allowed. They run a tight ship to keep the place quiet so they don’t accommodate groups. You can see the other cabins so it doesn’t necessarily feel secluded, but it is quiet and lovely. We hope to stay here again.

Eat:

Camp Sherman Store, Camp Sherman OR
OK, so it’s not a restaurant and they close by 5 or 6 PM, but when you are in the middle of nowhere, this place is a wonderful treat. On our first night there we grabbed everything we needed to make dinner that evening, the makings of breakfast the next day, wine, ice cream, and snacks. I also bought sandwiches from the store’s deli twice and they were tasty. On Saturday, they had a big BBQ with great picnic food and live bluegrass music. I think the store throws this party for the Fourth of July and Labor Day every year.

DSCN0155

Three Creeks Brewing, Sisters OR
On the second night of our stay we drove into nearby Sisters, OR to walk around and have dinner. This brewery hit the spot. I enjoyed a delicious seasonal wheat beer and Ryan loved his IPA. The menu features burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, pizza, salads, and entrees. Our son enjoyed his mac ‘n cheese.

Kokanee Cafe, Camp Sherman OR
Although we didn’t get to eat here (toddler in tow, not feeling brave enough) it was located on the resort property and looked lovely. It was very popular and busy on Friday and Saturday nights.

Play:

Scout Lake, Deschutes National Forest
This was a sweet little lake just for swimming; we didn’t see any boats or fishing. There is camping nearby. There was a $5 day-use fee that we paid in the parking lot (they have those little envelopes to put money in). Be sure to bring drinks, snacks, chairs, and rafts or other flotation things. Our son was feeling very left out of the flotation fun until a kind family nearby lent him a pool noodle.

Metolius River Hike
We got about 1/4 mile into this lovely jaunt before our 18-month old had had enough. He was very upset that we wouldn’t let him jump in the river or run around on the plants off of the trail. However, what we saw of the hike was beautiful and there were wild flowers everywhere. Water on the rocks and wind in the pines–you can’t ask for much more than that.

Wizard Falls Hatchery, Camp Sherman OR
This is worth a visit if you have kids, or if you really like fish I suppose. We had to cut our visit short because our boy was more interested in throwing rocks into the pools and trying to touch the electric fence than he was in feeding the fish BUT it could be better with an older child. We’ll try again next time.

All written content and photographs © Abodenly.com, 2013.

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