With a name that's sounds like a windswept river beckoning, Viento State Park nuzzles inconspicuously between the towns of Cascade Locks and Hood River, in the view climactic Columbia River Gorge, where rain makes trees look velvet green, wind brings kiteboarders from around the globe and hikes that don't lead to waterfalls are hard to come by.
Visit Viento to check out the mile of automobile-free Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail that will lead you to Starvation Creek, or spend an afternoon windsurfing, wading, fishing or simply regarding the way the river divides such monumental stretches of rock and tree with utter confidence. Viento puts you in a great position to hop over to Cascade Locks for a ride on the sternwheeler, a visit to the Historical Museum, a giant serving of East Wind drive-in ice-cream, or to head into Hood River and wine taste, art hunt or eat a locally sourced, farm-to-table meal.
Mid-April through October, the humbly striking Viento Campground offers flush toilets, hot showers, picnic tables, fire rings, disability...
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History of Viento State Park
The land was acquired between 1925 and 1967 by purchase from private owners. The purchase of the first tract was financed by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company to compensate for damage to trees when the company cleared its line rights-of-way in Oregon park areas. The park was established to provide a shaded picnic and rest area for travelers on the old Columbia River Highway. Initial development was carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Overnight camping facilities were added in the 1950s. Although viento is the Spanish word for wind, and trees in the area show the shaping effects of strong winds in the Columbia Gorge, the park name was taken from a nearby station on the railroad -- the title of which supposedly was composed of the first letters of surnames of the railroad builder Henry Villard, capitalist William Endicott, and a contractor named Tolman. These men were active in railroad building along the Columbia River in the 1870s and 1880s. Viento was a station on the Oregon-Washington Railway and Navigation Company line (now Union Pacific).