DOD is in Springfield, right down Pioneer Parkway, off the Springfield City Center exit. Now before you quit reading because you live way out in the South hills of Eugene or whatever and decide that DOD is way too far away to visit, let me just tell you that you're wrong. So very wrong. It is well worth every single minute spent in the car.
When you get there, the driveway splits three ways. Okay hold on. I am going to WAY overexplain this for all of the people out there who are like me and who really really really like details. If you're more of an "explore it on your own" type, feel free to skip this next 35 paragraphs. Hopefully, however, there is someone out there who is like me and will find the nitty gritty specifics helpful. Let's forge on!
See this map? See the gate at the top? That's where you start at DOD. See how the road splits three ways? Oh the options! How does one decide? Okay, here we go.
One note about the "paved multi-use path": Some of the path has a yellow line painted in the middle, like a real road. I really wish the line were on the entire path, and I'm not sure why it's not (anyone?) It is a great place to teach your littles about basic traffic concepts like lanes, passing, and road courtesy. My kiddo loves to yell "passing on your left!"
There are also lots of small gravel trails, marked as the white "trails" on the map. We've never really checked those out, but we should!
So last weekend here's what we did: We started on the "paved multi-use path", rode bikes/walked to the river and back, and then headed back to the car, which we had parked in the gravel lot. We threw the bike in the car, grabbed our picnic basket, and walked down to the picnic tables near the barn. After we ate, my husband threw the basket back in the car and we headed down the gravel "road". We stopped at every tractor and allowed for lots of time to check out bugs/logs/leaves/puddles. We walked all the way to the river, threw rocks in, and walked back to the car. From arrival to departure, we spent 3 and 1/2 hours at DOD. Wonderful family time for exploration, conversation, enjoying the outdoors, and getting dirty!
Parking: plenty of free parking
Restrooms: There are flush toilets near the paved parking lot, and several port-a-potties in various spots up and down the gravel path.
Resting/Nursing Spots: a few benches and picnic tables scattered around
Time Frame: At least an hour - you could easily occupy your littles for half a day at DOD!