Clear Lake Day Use Area (Clear Lake Forest Camp) – Willamette National Forest OR


During the summer and fall of 1937, Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees from CCC camps Belknap and Cascadia/Marys Creek developed recreational facilities at Clear Lake. Improvements at the time provided opportunities for camping, picnicking and hiking. Today, the site operates as a day use area only with trails and picnic sites available for use. The CCC laid out campsites with attached picnic facilities above the Clear Lake/Belknap Springs road that are still visible but camping is no longer permitted there.

Significant CCC constructed structures that do remain in the Day Use Area include the Clear Lake Picnic shelter and Information Booth. Both are log-construction with wood shingle roofing. The Clear Lake Picnic Shelter, intended for use by picknickers during inclement weather, contains a lava rock fireplace with a plaque containing the US Forest Service insignia and acknowledgment of CCC Camp Belknap/Co. 927’s work on the structure. The registration booth, now an information booth, sits near the former campsites and just below the Clear Lake/Belknap Springs road also built by CCC enrollees. The posted information provides a history of the CCC and Clear Lake’s development for recreational use.

Stone retaining walls in various locations around the day use area were built by CCC enrollees. They help with the necessary terracing as the site slopes down to Clear Lake.

Camping is available on the southeast side of Clear Lake at Willamette National Forest’s Cold Water Cove Campground. In the nearby Clear Lake Resort, Linn County operates overnight accommodation as well. These facilities are not part of the New Deal era work at Clear Lake.



Source notes

"Camp Belknap," CCC-Vancouver Barracks Report - 1937. pp. 114-117 & 146.

"Clear Lake Area," Willamette National Forest. US Forest Service Website:

"Clear Lake Picnic Shelter." Oregon State Historic Preservation Office - Oregon Historic Database:

Rakestraw, Lawrence & Mary (1991) History of the Willamette National Forest. USDA - Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region. p. 111.

Project originally submitted by Jim Reed on September 11, 2022.
Additional contributions by Judith Kenny & Tom Hubka.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Clear Lake/Belknap Springs Hwy
McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413

Location notes: Travel 18 miles from McKenzie Bridge OR along Hwy 126.

Coordinates: 44.3736, -121.9985

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