Benson State Recreation Area, Oregon

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Benson State Recreation Area

Picnicking in the Benson State Recreation Area a mile from world-renowned Multnomah Falls lets Oregon travelers enjoy some of the scenery and recreation the Columbia River Gorge has to offer.

  • Located 30 miles east of Portland off Interstate 84 near Corbett, Oregon.
  • Picnicking, swimming, fishing, and Frisbee golf are highlight activities here.
  • Day-use area is open all year for a small fee; group shelter available.


The day-use Benson State Recreation Area forms a favorite family fun spot near the Columbia River Gorge. Picnicking is a primary activity here, and Benson Lake (where no motorboats are allowed) lies within the Recreation Area’s perimeter for row boating, swimming, and fishing. Benson is also a great spot for bigger groups, with a large reservable picnic shelter to accommodate group events.

Location & Information

Benson State Recreation Area is located about 30 miles east of Portland near the town of Corbett, Oregon. Take Interstate 84 to milepost 30 (just west of Multnomah Falls); Benson has eastbound access only off I-84, so those traveling west must take the next exit and double back. Benson Recreation Area is open all year except holidays. Minimal day-use park fees are assessed. For more information, call 1 (800) 551-6949.


  • Picnicking, including a group shelter that can be reserved.
  • Swimming and non-motorized boating in Benson Lake.
  • Disc Golf: Benson has a Frisbee golf course for its visitors’ enjoyment.
  • Fishing: Benson Lake is stocked with rainbow trout monthly. Around the first weekend in June, come to Benson’s annual Free Fishing Day.
  • Golfing: Four 18-hole golf courses lie within a 20-mile radius of the Benson State Recreation Area.

Fun Facts

Benson State Recreation Area is named for Simon Benson, a local lumber businessman who was instrumental in getting the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway built.

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