L.L. Stub Stewart State Park is 1,673 acres of rolling hills, forests and canyons just 30 miles west of Portland.
There is a hiking trail to the top of a 1500-foot hill with nice views of the Northern Oregon Coast Range. An 1879 surveyor wrote that this section of the park is “Mountainous, unfit for settlement.”
Jay Beeks, a friend from Theresa’s MBA program, designed and managed construction of this $18 million park in the mid-2000’s. Although we may be biased, we felt this was one of the nicest, well-designed state parks we have visited on our trip. As an example, the local equestrian club designed and built the campground corrals, which provide four horse stalls per campsite. There is a high quality and thoughtfulness throughout the park.
Washington County State Park was the working name for the park, but that was later changed to Hare’s Canyon State Park. In 2005, the park was renamed to honor “Stub” Stewart, who died in January of that year. Stewart was a longtime member of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission and a noted philanthropist. The irony is Stewart was a champion for the preservation of public lands, yet he was against establishing this particular park because it did not have a notable draw such as a mountain, lake or river.