SP Park Review – Tugman State Park, Lakeside, OR

Paul poses by the lovely Eel Lake

A very pleasant state park ~30 miles south of Florence by a large inland lake on the central OR coast.

Link to campground here: Tugman State Park, OR
Link to map location here: Tugman State Park, OR

  1. Site Quality = 3.5/5
    Very decent sites here with just a few dings. All sites are flat paved back-in with 50Amp/water (no sewer), picnic table, fire-pit and good access throughout. Site separation is decent, probably a tad more cramped than other state parks we’ve been to on the coast. However there’s lots of trees/green everywhere so privacy is good. Outer loop sites are nicely slanted and the best bet for big-rigs especially if you can get some of the sites on the back corners (slightly bigger). Inside loop sites are smaller and almost right-angle to the road making poor access for bigger rigs. No lake-views from the sites, but lots of green & trees. The main ding is west-side sites are close to 101 and so get some road noise.
  2. Facilities = 4/5
    Good facilities here. Large flush toilets and showers kept nicely clean. Only ding is that showers don’t get quite as warm as I’d like. On-site dump station.
  3. Location = 4/5
    Good location here. Campground is on a lovely lake with large grassy day-use area and fishing, canoeing, swimming and pretty 3-mile hiking trail along the lake-side. You are only a few miles from dune access (e.g. John Dellenback Trail) and the lovely Umpqua Lighthouse and Winchester Bay. Only slight ding is no direct beach/dune access from camp.
  4. Pet Friendliness = 5/5
    Great location for doggie. Lots of space to hang out in camp and around the lake and day-use area. Good hiking around the lake with more hiking on the dunes nearby. Dog-friendly beach only a few miles away at Ziolkouski Beach Park‎ . Poo bags provided in camp.

Overall Rating =  4.1
BONUS ALERT: Lovely Eel Lake right by the campground!

Summary: Another lovely Oregon State Park. This is dune-county so this particular park is actually a few miles in-land and on the other side of 101 by a lake. Well-sized flat, paved sites with decent privacy and 50Amp/water. Outsite loop sites are nicely slanted and good for big rigs. The only real dings are that west-side sites are close to 101 and so get some road-noise plus inner-loop sites are almost at right angles to the road (poor access). Lovely large green day-use area and beautiful lake access (no-wake boating, canoeing, fishing, swimming etc.) with cute hiking trail around part of the lake. Location is great for exploring the Oregon Dunes and the surrounding area. There is no direct access from camp, but you’re only ~1 mile drive from the fabulous John Dellenback Trail and short drive to Umpqua Lighthouse and Winchester Bay (ATVing, beach, harbor). At this time of year the campground was was relatively empty during the week, but completely full on the week-end. Big bonus is excellent Verizon signal! Overall a relaxing and pleasant campground at a very reasonable price. We’d stay here again.

Extra Info: Very good 3G on Verizon (3-4 bars). Total 40 sites (50Amp/water). Sites cost $20/night in summer season, $17/night in off-season, all reservable on-line. On-site dump station.

Extra, Extra Info – Camping Closer to Dunes/Water?: There is actually a ton of other camping in the immediate area some of which gets you closer to the dunes/water if that’s your goal:
1/ For avid ATVers there are 2 campgrounds with direct ATV access to the dunes in Winchester Bay -> Discovery Point RV and county-owned Half Moon Bay (non hook-up). If you’re into dune-buggy riding it doesn’t get much closer than this.
2/ For water-lovers Winchester Bay offers no less than 3 RV options and if you want water-views this is the place to go. Upscale county-owned Winchester Bay RV Resort offers manicured, gorgeous full water views for $42/night, laid-back Windy Cove offers FHU for $23/night just across the street from the resort, and finally Salmon Harbor Marina  offers dry-camp water-front parking for $14/night.

Typical outer-loop back-in site (C12 shown)
View near loop entrance. Empty site A11 on right, with trailer in A9 behind it.
View down far end of loop. Site C18 on right with C16 behind it.
View towards our rig in corner of loop. Empty site C18 on left with our rig in C20 behind it.
View of sites nearest 101. These have some road-noise. Empty sites B22 and B24 on left with trailer in B26 behind.
View down one of center roads. Rig in site B15 on right with B13 behind it.
View of our “sitting area” at C20. This was (by far) the largest in the loop we thought.
View of facilities
Biking around the large, grassy day-use area. Lake in the back.
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. Rob says

    Your campground reviews are superb, including the surround area camps with specific recreation access is the cherry on top!

    Are you going to write a book? “Selected Campground Reviews & Attractions”. Chapters by the state or road or general area, maps & your photographs. An index in the back.
    Sell it as an E-book, I’ll buy a copy for when we start traveling. You have great taste!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh I LOVE that idea. I’ve thought alot about writing a book. Don’t feel I have quite enough material yet, but I love the idea of it.

  2. Dan and Pat says

    OK, Paul, this one is for you. I see you riding an mountain bike in many of your posts. Is there a recommendation you would care to make on a good bike for a novice rider (one step above training wheels LOL) who would be facing the challenge at the age of 66? Probably should be relatively inexpensive only because it may not be for me and would like to keep investment low. You seem to really enjoy it and I think I could too.
    Thanks, Dan

    • libertatemamo says

      Gosh, this is probably a whole post all by itself!! I’m writing this with aid of hubby so I’ll put down a few ideas.

      First thing is to decide what kind of bike you want. There are 4 major groups, but as a beginner I’d recommend just 2 of these:

      -> Road bikes have skinny tires and skinny seats and are great if you do alot of long-distance road-biking. However I (personally) find them uncomfortable for just basic biking around town. Unless you’re planning alot of miles this may not be the best option.

      -> Mountain bikes are great if you go off-trail alot, but the position/comfort is not as good as other bikes if you spend more time on roads or just cruising around. If you’re planning for off-road then definitely go this route. Otherwise look at other options.

      -> Hybrid/Cross-Over bikes are in-between road-bike and mountain-bike. They have the “build” of either a mountain bike or a road bike but with cushier seats and more upright feel. This is what I got (Nina). It allows me to do *some* easy off-road but also be really comfy on-road. They typically have a good amount of gears and are great in-between bikes.

      -> Cruiser bikes are for cruising around town. These are sometimes also called “comfort” bikes. Like the hybrid bikes you also sit “upright” on these and you have super-comfy seats, but they often only have a (very) few gears. They are the most inexpensive option and are comfortable to ride, but with only a handful or less of gears you can’t do a ton of distance or hill biking. However if you only bike every now and then and just like to “cruise” around they can be a great (and cheap) option.

      Read more about the different types of bikes HERE

      If your goal is biking around for fun, with a little bit of off-road I’d recommend either a cruiser or hybrid/cross-over. Go get fitted at a bike-store (for your size) and then look around on Craigs List. If you’re a standard size you should be able to get a decent bike for really quite cheap on Craigs List. If you’re an “unusual” size (like me..Nina…I’ve got super long legs and short top) then you might need to buy a new bike with a custom fit. Your bike should last you many, many years so sometimes this is not a bad option. Remember to always try out the bike before you buy it. The right bike will feel comfy right away!

      There are other options out there, like collapsable bikes which are great for space-storage, but tend to be very pricey. So my recommendation is a good second-hand cruiser or hybrid.


      • Rob says

        We bought my wife a 5 speed ‘comfortable’ bike, ( just gears & a derailleur in the back), it looks good! A Walmart Schwinn, not spendy but right not now we don’t ride a lot.
        She likes it for the flat but could really use more gears (in the front) for the moderate hills. It could really use more gears !

        • libertatemamo says

          Hi Rob,
          Yeah that bike is what I’d call a “cruiser”. Costco is selling one right now too. They’re great starter bikes for going around town, but I totally agree that the few gears can be limiting once you start deciding you want to ride up some hills :). Still you really can’t go wrong with the value & comfort.

          I bought myself a hybrid…the Trek Navigator 2.0 -> It’s got all the “comfort” stuff (cushy seat, upright position, shocks), but has 21-gears too. It’s definitely more expensive than the Walmart/Costco cruisers, but it allows a custom fit (for my weird size) and I plan to keep it for the next 15 years.

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