Cottage Grove Lake, Oregon

Our sitePine Meadows Campground
June 19 - 21, 2020

After several months of statewide shutdown for the pandemic, we were very eager to get out and camp with our friend Hilary. Separate sites, cooking separate meals, siting six feet apart, and no showers were acceptable concessions for the chance to be out of the house together. Kathleen and Maddie came down Sunday afternoon for several hours as well.



Dinner over the fire

This was not our best camping time. Friday night, while we were eating dinner, a little boy on a bike was run over by his uncle in a giant truck, right in front of us. Miraculously, he was only slightly injured. But the family's refusal to get him care and their attitude about the incident soured much of the weekend. It also rained late Sunday. Even so, we were grateful for the chance to interact with others and be outside, doing things we love.

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Our sitePine Meadows Primitive Campground
June 28-30, 2019

We returned to Pine Meadows for a quick weekend campout with our friend, Kelly. But this time we stayed in the Primitive Campground section -- an open, grassy area further down the road. It has a lake view, but no access. Just pit toilets and two water spigots, but so much more peaceful than the crowded main section. We had site I, a huge open site closest to the lake.



Dinner over the fire


To access the lake, we just had a short drive to the main campground. The weather was gorgeous, if a bit hot, and it felt wonderful to just relax in our inflatable canoes. We paddled lazily for the whole afternoon.


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Our sitePine Meadows Campground
May 25-27, 2019

When weather reports showed a Memorial Day Weekend with temps up to 80, I grabbed the last open reservation I could find. It was at Rujada Campground, east of Cottage Grove. When the weekend arrived, though, the weather had changed to rainy and cold, and the Rujada Campground was dark and uninviting. So we went instead to our favorite nearby campground, Pine Meadows, where we were able to nab a great spot that had just opened up due to a "no show" the night before.

We got set up just in time for the rain, which was steady through the afternoon and night. Our friend Kelly drove down to join us for dinner, but it was raining so hard, we could only hunker down under the canopy. I made spaghetti, but Kelly left after dinner and we went straight to bed. It was really cold that first night, but one of my favorite things is sleeping snug in the teardrop in the rain. Feeling the wind gust through the open doors, and listening to the steady patter on the canopy.

Dinner over the fire

The next day our friends Kathleen, Madison, and Zoe, came down to join us for a night. By the time they got there, the rain had stopped and it had warmed to comfortable. We were able to hike around a bit and enjoy the scenery. We were so glad we'd moved from the dismal Rujada Campground. The rain came back early the next morning, so we skipped the pancake breakfast I had planned and called it a weekend.

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Cottage Grove LakePine Meadows Campground
July 26-28, 2014

This campground seems to be an annual tradition for us. It's so close by (less than a half an hour away), and such a pretty lake.

This year we camped with friends Justine and John, and their son, Ethan. The weather was a bit cool on Saturday and Sunday morning, but Saturday afternoon was gorgeous, and we all got out on the lake in kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.

Ethan and Madison


On Saturday, Kathleen and her granddaughter, Madison, joined us for much of the day. They had hoped to camp with us, but Madison had a dance performance Saturday night.

Ethan and Madison remembered each other from camping at Waldo Lake last summer and enjoyed seeing each other again.

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Bella on the lakePine Meadows Campground
May 24-26, 2013

We like this campground so much we wanted to make it a regular tradition. We reserved two sites for three nights over Memorial Day weekend. Our original gang couldn't join us as planned, but we found plenty of friends to fill in.

Janice and Ginger took site #67 with their T@b and two dogs. Kelly pitched a tent with her dog, Bella. And Susan and Larry came for canoeing and campfire on Saturday with their dogs, Bean and Lucy. It was a six-dog camp!

Ginger and Janice's T@b


It was a bit early in the season for perfect weather. Saturday was beautiful, plenty warm enough to canoe the lake in shorts. But Saturday night, a rainstorm hit and it poured nonstop all night and off and on the next morning. We decided to pull out stakes a day early and call it a weekend.

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Cottage Grove LakePine Meadows Campground
June 15-17, 2012

We came back to one of our favorite local campgrounds this year with five friends: Kathy, Robin H., Marty, Delane, and Robin L. We'd reserved three spacious site right on the lake (63, 65, and 67) that were perfect. Actually, we could have easily fit in two.

It's unusual for the 7 of us to all get a free weekend, but the nearby locale made it possible. Robin H. followed Kathy (pulling their T@da trailer) on her Harley Friday night so she could go back to Eugene on Saturday and Sunday for various UO graduation events.

Site 65Robin L. dropped Hannah off at the Portland airport Saturday morning (headed off for two months in Costa Rica!) then joined us Saturday afternoon.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Saturday was sunny and in the 80s. Marty and Delane brought their canoe and so did we, so we enjoyed a peaceful paddle along the shore on Saturday. On Sunday, after we'd all packed up, we drove a little further down the road and put in the canoes near the east end of the lake where we could paddle down a beautiful green canal.


CanoeingCamping with the two of us is great fun. But camping with close friends is the best!

Now that we've all discovered this close-by place (less than 30 minutes away), we hope to make it a regular event.


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Pine Meadows Campground
Cottage Grove LakeJune 26-27, 2010

We were here almost exactly a year before, and it was windy and cold. This year, we hit the warmest weather so far. In the 80's. We went just for the day, with our goddaughter, Aly, and neighbors, Kathleen and Maddie (2). It was Maddie's first camping trip, and she was an absolute trooper. Ate it up like candy and never fussed.

When we first got there, we found a perfect lakeside site that had been reserved for the weekend, then abandoned. The neighbors said the people had to leave for a medical emergency and had offered the site to them, but they didn't want it. We nabbed it and set up camp, but the host and ranger made us break down and move! We almost gave up camping right there, but managed to let it go, move on, and get a nice spacious site near the road.

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Pine Meadows CampgroundPine Meadows Campground
June 19-21, 2009

On what was probably the coldest weekend in June, Kate and I went down to Cottage Grove Lake for the weekend. Just a half an hour south of Eugene, it's a beautiful reservoir for boating, camping, and fishing.

We stayed at Pine Meadows campground, which is right on the lake. It has showers and flush toilets, a swimming area, but no boat launch, which makes it quieter than Baker Bay campground at nearby Dorena Lake. It's a large campgound with 93 sites. The sites to the right of the entrances were roomier (and quieter) than on the left, where the playground and swimming area are.

There's also a "primitive camp area" just down the road. It didn't have showers or beach access, but was a lot quieter.

The cold weather and drizzly skies put a bit of a damper on the weekend, but we warmed up on Saturday by exploring the area by car. The countryside is absolutely gorgeous
(with a covered bridge scenic route), and the quaint town of Cottage Grove is worth a visit. On the way home on Sunday, we took backroads and took our time to enjoy the scenery.


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Cottage Grove gas station
Currin Bridge

All in all, it was a great weekend. We enjoyed just getting out in the teardrop again. We got to see some beautiful countryside, and even watched an osprey feeding her babies in a nest.

It's wonderful to have such a nice getaway such a short distance from home!

Check out my friend's blog on the Cottage Grove area: