Smith Rock State Park has been closed for nearly two months.
A closure that long has never happened in the park’s nearly 60-year history.
The spring season is usually one of the busiest times for the scenic attraction outside of Terrebonne.
But this spring has been anything but usual with the park’s 651 acres closed to visitors as part of the state’s stay-home order due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Of course, nature doesn’t take a break.
And with the park set to reopen on Thursday, Central Oregon Daily Photojournalist Steve Kaufmann spent an afternoon documenting the sights and sounds of an empty Central Oregon treasure.
The park sees between 850,000 and 900,000 visitors a year.
Tomorrow’s opening won’t be quite so busy.
Parking will be limited to help control crowds and some trails – including Misery Ridge – will be closed.
But all other normal activities at the park will be allowed.
Park officials ask that visitors keep that 6-foot physical distance and not travel from farther than 50 miles out to visit.