FLORENCE — Effective Jan. 22, 2018, the hours of operation at the East Woahink, West Woahink and Sand Dune day use areas at Jessie M. Honeyman State Park will revert to standard daylight business hours, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Access from Canary Road will be gated overnight, and opened daily, as posted.
Park Manager Justin Helberg noted that gates to the areas had been kept open as a courtesy to dog walkers, joggers and other users who come to the areas early- or late-in-the-day.
The West Woahink and Sand Dune areas were being used respectfully, with a few isolated incidents. However, East Woahink suffered from vandalism and persistent, serious problems with unauthorized driving. This left the natural, grassy area damaged beyond routine repair. Helberg was concerned the East Woahink problems would spread to the other two areas, which prompted the after-hours closure of all three sites.
"It's very unfortunate," Helberg said. "But the East Woahink area has become so degraded and the incidents so frequent that we are now concerned for public safety." Helberg said that because all three day use areas are somewhat isolated, reports of problems often come too late for staff or law enforcement to intervene.
Park hours are posted on signs around the park. Visitors can also check the state park website at www.oregonstateparks.org.