Top Notch Disc Golf
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Milo McIver Disc Golf Course is located in the massive Milo McIver State Park near the town of Estacada, Oregon. The disc golf course occupies a healthy portion of the park, I'd estimate, at least 75 acres. The disc golf course is located in the Riverbend Day Use area.
-The scenery at Milo is absolutely stunning. From the moment you drive in, you can sense that you're in for a treat. The entry road winds down a hill through a dense forest thick with beautiful, massive Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar trees. At spots you can catch a glimpse of Mt. Hood, as well.
-Once you make it to the course, you're in for a treat. The course design is phenomenal. The Riverbend day use area features open areas with scattered trees, and areas with more dense woods as well, perfect for a championship-level course. No hole is a gimme. You have to work hard to make a good score here.
-You seriously need to throw all types of shots to succeed at this course. Long crushes, right to left shots, left to right shots, S-curve shots, low shots, precise upshots, straddle putts, hack-out-of-the-woods shots, you need it all.
-It's a long course, but not too long. About 2/3rds of the holes are par 3s. Par 4s are scattered here and there and the park features two par 5s as well. Many of the longer holes feature a short teepad, making the course manageable for shorter-armed players.
-Almost every basket is tucked in a nice setting, between or behind some trees. This makes you really have to focus on throwing your disc in a spot where you aren't blocked. It is very easy to throw a shot 20 or less feet from a basket and have no look at a putt because you're behind a massive tree.
The scenery is so beautiful it can become distracting, and you will inevitably throw into the woods at one time or another. But, the undergrowth is almost all native. Ferns and vine maple abound. It is much easier to find your disc in that than if the woods were overgrown with blackberries and other nasty invasives.
-The Clackamas River is in view from a good many of the holes and within earshot at a couple points too. Nothing is more calming than hearing rushing water. Too many disc golf courses are within earshot of a freeway. This is a hundred times better.
-Wildlife abounds. Don't be surprised to see deer, eagles, chipmunks, and salmon in the river. This adds another charm to an already splendid course.
-Timber Park is directly across the river. Two 18+ hole, terrific courses within a ten minute drive is anyone's dream. Timber is such a nice course as well. It has more of a city park feel, and the holes are closer together, but it's still a wonderful challenge. If you come here to play Milo, check out Timber, too.
-The holes are spread out nice and far apart. Every hole has its own space, seperate and not within griplock-range from another.
-The course is generally flat, but many of the baskets are set on a small hill in the woods. There are some fun, downhill holes, as well. Holes 6 and 11 on the East and hole 9 on the West all offer fun, downhill throws.
-There are frequent restrooms, which, for a state park, are really nice. I wonder if that is due to the Beaver State Fling.
Cons: -Navigation your first time, can be tricky. The regular layout is an 18-hole east course and a 9-hole west course that start from the east and west parking lots. Or, you can skip around and play all 27. For the Beaver State Fling they add 9 holes to make for 2 18 hole courses that start from the middle parking lot. And in the winter the west course is closed and the extra Beaver State Fling holes on the east side are opened. It's all very confusing until you've been to the park a few times, so print a map. Maps are super helpful, they show the layout and where the short tee is. However they don't show the paths between holes.
-Because there are so many different layouts, the tee signs aren't always correct and half the time, aren't present.
-The baskets are older Discatchers. They catch all right but some of them have rusty chains. This isn't a big problem but for a course like this, that hosts a PDGA NT event, I'd expect to see new top-notch baskets.
Other Thoughts: -Some people might complain it costs $5, but I think that is more than worth it for a course like this.
-Many of the baskets are elevated, either on a mound, a tree stump, or on the side of a hill. It's a lot of fun but make sure to give your putts enough power. I might have set a record for front-rim bangers in a round here. :-)
-The baskets do have a little doodad at the bottom pointing the direction to the next hole. Sometimes they are correct but not always. I just look for a path leading away from the basket.
-This course hosts the Beaver State Fling every June for a reason. Come out if you haven't already. It's a ton of fun to watch the top pros at one of the best courses in the country.
-There is no way to not give Milo a 5 disc review. Yes, there are a few small issues but nothing worth dinging the rating for. Milo McIver State Park is a wonderful experience, start to finish.
-If you're just starting out, this course is probably a little much for you. But you certainly don't need to be a pro to have fun here. The short and long tees make this course fun for everyone. I always look forward to my next round at Milo McIver.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Pretty Good Course
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Very good course!! There's a Pro and Am tee for just about every hole. Provides some good challenging shots, long distance shots, and elevated shots. Great mixture. Beautiful Park and very fun
Cons: Some of the Tee Pads are hard to find signage or arrows would be great. Some signs are missing off the Tee pads so you don't know where the basket is and you have to go find it before you throw. If it wasn't for those this would be 5 stars
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
One of the best
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: You can't go wrong if you decide to give this course a shot as it has tons of variety and is in as beautiful of setting as you will find. Even when this course gets crowded, it is still fun to play.
Cons: Occasionally, the grass in the fairways is allowed to grow too long which is an annoyance. There are also a couple of opportunities to lose a disc in the river.
Other Thoughts: I have played this course probably 30 times and it doesn't get old. One of the best I have ever been to period.
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
* Challenging course with wide variety of shots across 27 holes with Pro and Amateur tees. You will want to come back again and again. This course should be on your bucket list.
* Holes usually have multiple angles of approach, and reward a variety of play styles. Quite a few risk/reward shots to take. Nice mix of long/short, open/trees, and elevation/flat shots.
* Beautiful scenery along the Clackamas River - wildflowers, wild berries, trees, meadows, bald eagles, blue herons, etc. This is everything disc golf should be.
* Concrete tees, good signage, good benches, nice facilities.
* Ample parking, restrooms and water fountains near some tees for pit stops.
* Well maintained grass, OB, facilities (that's what your fees pay for).
* Paper maps available at the entrance, very helpful.
* Really helpful staff at the front desk and campground. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the facilities or where to go.
* Camping and day-use facilities available at this enormous state park. Clackamas river has a boat launch and an old (but operating) hydroelectric dam to check out. Lots of hiking trails and good picnicking.
* Short drive to another great course, Timber Park.
Cons: / Thoughts:
* Some water fountains don't work at present and need to be repaired.
* Watch out for people crossing your path on the way to the river who don't know there is a disc golf course there.
* Watch out for poison oak and blackberries. They are minimal but they do exist on a couple holes. There is a hornet's nest (marked with signs) on #17 right now as well.
* Due to the awesomeness of this course, if you are playing on a nice-weather weekend day get here early, say 10am or earlier.
* Some shots are very long. I recommend playing the amateur tees the first time you play, or you may find your arm too exhausted to finish all 18 / 27 holes. The pro tees really are for pros at this course - they will wear you out.
Good course for: people with a half day to full day to play disc golf. Good for pretty much any reasonably experienced player, although even the amateur tees may still be too much for new players.
Bad course for: absolute beginners, green-colored discs, people who don't look before they throw
King for a day: I would fix the drinking fountains and get some crews to eradicate the occasional poison oak and blackberries, but otherwise, it's great.
Definitely a 5/5 - "best of the best"
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
The tops. Nothing more to say.
2 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Everything except the signage. Gorgeous natural beauty. Good mix of shots. History. Location. Views on the drive out and back. Truly world class.
there is a reason (there are lots of reasons) why it is a top course for anyone who has ever played it, and a favorite among many top pros.
Cons: Needs better signage and next tee markers for visitors.
Other Thoughts: As good a course as I've played anywhere. Ever.
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: Incredible course. Played twice and loved both rounds. Challenging and long (both good things). If I lived in the area it would be my goto course.
Cons: A bit of a drive to get there. Can be tough to follow some layouts.
Other Thoughts: This is a world class course. No question.
1 of 16 people found this review helpful.
as good as advertised
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Massive variety- hole length, elevation, wooded & non wooded, a bit of water.
Great (dual) teepads
27+ holes with more than one signature hole
Helpful and plentiful scorecards on site
Cons: Super crowded. We got there at about 10:45 on a Saturday so we definitely weren't expecting to have the course to ourselves. However, 3.5 hours later we were actually relieved to have finished after struggling to pass MULTIPLE mob groups that were extremely slow due to either lack of ability or obvious use of alcohol or other substances.
There weren't any real threatening water shots, which in my personal criteria is what keeps this particular course from being a perfect 5.
Other Thoughts: More on the casual mob groups: like I said, we got there late morning so we weren't expecting the fastest round ever. I was just so taken aback by how many large groups there were! To top it off, why did it seem like everyone regardless of skill level played from the long pads? Coming from Michigan, we aren't immune to large groups and casuals on the weekends, but the novices are usually good about sticking to the short pads which expedites things a little on days when playing through is difficult. As a group of four with various skill levels playing Milo for the first time, we chose to play a mixed layout (mainly the longs with the beautiful elevated shots). But I just couldn't stomach watching and waiting on groups that obviously didn't have the overall skills to efficiently play the longs on such a crowded day. Sorry for the rant; for the record, the crowds and slow play did not affect my rating of the course. We were from out of town and it was our fault for getting there late on a weekend. I'm sure there are plenty of smoother rounds to be had at milo.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful Top of the Class Course
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Milo is a simply beautiful park, your surrounded by a mix of old growth hardwoods and towering evergreens that line well maintained fairways, with views of the thundering Clacamas river.
Easily one of the most beautiful courses I've played.
There are two sets of pads on almost every hole, the pro pads play longer, but mainly they play more interesting. Big hooking doglegs and S curve fairways are The signature here and every hole is well thought out.
Layout is nice and mostly very easily followed.
You have to work for par here. Hit your line nail the approach you can have a 3, knock a tree or shank an approach and you might be having a rough round.
The use of mature trees, elevation and some fantastic technical lines make this course interesting and non repetitive.
Really nice pads as well, fairly large with a grid texture laid in.
Baskets all have flags on top and have red bands so they are easily spotted and very well balanced.
It's not at all hard to find the pros here, the whole thing is a pro.
Cons: Not much to list here, personally I wish some of the technical 400+ par threes were par fours but I can't take off for that.
I wish the bathrooms had been unlocked. Only con worth listing.
Other Thoughts: This is a true pro caliber course, in a beautiful setting.
A must play for any player with the means and just truely stunning.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Destination Worthy Championship Disc Golf
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: MiloMcGiver is a beautiful Championship level disc golf in this gorgeous Oregon State park. Milo is located on the Clackamas river. It has open grassy fairways under mature firs and cedars. It has that awesome Northwest vibe complete with mossy trees and ferns. Regardless of how many holes are currently set up to play, one-of-a-kind experience is worth the trip and a must play on any visit to the Portland area for any serious disc golfer.
I used bullet points for those that don't want to read the lengthy review.
Milo is unlike any of the other 230 courses I have played. It has its own personality and special beauty that is beyond comparison. I had the opportunity to play Milo on several different trips to the Portland area over the past year. I was able to practice and play all 36 holes at Milo McGiver during the 2014 Pro World Championships. I had the opportunity to play both the long and short tees. I also played the traditional Milo McGiver 27 layout during the wintertime.
Enormous Area for Disc Golf
The 36 holes of disc golf cover an expansive area of the park. However, disc golf takes up only one part of this giant park. If you go on weekdays, you literally have this entire corner of the Earth to yourself. Enjoy the solitude among the mature firs and cedars and take in the sounds of the rushing water on the Clackamas river as it travels past the park.
This is a 5 star challenge that will test every level of your game. The iconic year round Milo layout offers the whole package and provides a wide variety of shots. This layout includes all the memorable holes, big distance holes, ample elevation changes and some tightly wooded challengers. To be sure, this course has more than one signature hole or memorable hole. To score well here you need to have a variety of shots. If you aren't a big distance thrower, choose the shorter tees and you will still get a great disc golf experience.
Two 18 Hole Championship Courses
If you are in the area while both Championship level courses are installed, don't miss the opportunity to play all 36 holes. Get out there (with maps!) on the weekdays before and after the event. All 36 holes are what make Milo a true championship destination. This course will challenge every level of your game to score well. It is not all about distance, but that certainly helps.
I was guided through the Milo 18 West course the first time by the former park manager. It would be difficult to play this layout blind if you had never played the East 18 or Winter 27. I think the West Course provided a broader range of holes than the East 18 Course. Some of the shorter wooded holes from West are part of the "normal" layout. There were holes that required more placement and technical ability than all out distance. Of course there are some big distance holes here as well.
Two Sets of Concrete Tees
Always a bonus when there are two tees, even better when both are concret. Both sets of concrete tees were in excellent condition. The longer tees tend to have the picnic tables, benches and other extras. Having played both sets of tees, I think I prefer the challenge of the long tees here on most holes. They are not too difficult for Advanced level players. Some short tees take out doglegs, or give a more direct line of attack. Otherwise the short tees are mostly shorter.
Multiple pin placements
Variety is the spice of life and two sets of tees are better than one. In addition to short and long tees, there are multiple pin placements for several holes. I wish I could live close to a course like Milo with so much variety available. The more I play Milo, the more I like it.
It's a workout!
No matter which layout you play, you will be doing some walking. You will also be climbing up and down a few times. You will most likely be playing a full 18 holes (or more) before you return to your car. There are plenty of opportunities to get water on the course as there is running water in all the restrooms. On the West Course, there are some long walks to the next hole adding some more distance to the work out.
It is very long and probably not the best choice for true beginners. However, Milo is a championship caliber course that players of all abilities can still enjoy. The fairways are ample and not too complicated. If you do manage to stray off some of the fairways, there could be some rough, so watch where you throw on those holes. One challenge will be the amount of distance you will cover and the climbing up and down hills while playing a round out here. The biggest challenge will be navigating the course.
Bring a Map!
I had no problem playing this course blind on my first trip with a map. The NEXT TEE markers at the bottom of each pin clearly showed the way to the next tee. However, sometimes the next tee includes another tee going in a totally different direction. There are signs on some of the long tees, but you still want to have a map on your first visit to avoid any confusion. You should only attempt the West Course after having successfully navigating the regular layout. Then you can get a better feel for where you are going.
Entry Fee was worth it!
Oregon State parks charge a $5.00 daily fee. While some consider paying to disc golf a con, I thought it was worth the five dollars to enter this park. The park is super well maintained and the disc golf course is one of the largest I have seen. If you are local and will be playing other disc golf courses in state parks (Dabney, Rooster Rock, etc), Oregon 12 month passes are available for only $30.00.
Long Drive to the Countryside
This is located just south of Portland "out in the country". It is 16 miles and nearly a 30 minute drive from Clackamas and the 205 Freeway. A lot of distance on a small two-lane country road with plenty of curves. Definitely worth the trip to experience an iconic disc golf destination. I enjoyed seeing the rural Oregon countryside.
There are four modern restroom facilities located throughout the entire disc golf area. No matter which layout you play, you will pass by these restrooms several times each round. These are well maintained, fully equipped, with running water and quite spacious!
Kids and Strollers
This course is really too long for kids to play. The terrain is easy enough for older kids to walk along. However, it may be a bit long for toddlers. You could use a stroller on most holes. Depending on the layout, there are some elevated holes with staircases where you will need to park and walk. There are lots of full service restrooms on the courses. There are lots of other activities in this park for kids as well. There are several opportunities to check out the river while playing.
You can't really play this for the first time without a map. With a map, the year round course is possible to enough to navigate for 18 holes since it has the Next Tee markers on each basket and signs on the long tees. However, if you are playing any additional holes you will need to know the current layout and have the proper map. None of the 36 targets are numbered and none of the short tees are labeled which amplifies the navigation problems.
They are 27 holes in year round, but there are only signs for a layout called 18E. 18 East as played in an event is not even the same layout as the installed signs for 18E?!? Even though both East courses share many of the same holes, they don't share any numbering? It would be great if they could update/replace the signs to match the year round layout and number some of the baskets.
Long Drive and Pay to Play
While these are not really cons for me, some may not appreciate the long drive or having to pay a $5.00 entry fee. Again, both the drive and the $5.00 entry fee were worth it to me.
There could be poison oak on the course. If you have problems with it take precautions.
Worth The Trip!
Some things are worth repeating. Definitely worth the long drive to see a memorable disc golf destination. No matter the current layout or the number of holes you can play, you will still get to experience what is unique about Milo McGiver.
Swimming, Fishing, Tubing
The Clackamas river runs along several holes on both courses. In the summer you can hear the sounds of all kinds of folks tubing and kayaking down the river. Bring your swimsuit so you can jump in after your round. If I had more time, I would have loved to take a trip on the river.
Supplies and Food
Plan to get your water, Gatorade or other beverages before you drive all the way out here. If coming from the North, Carver Market is the last little store with gear and beer before you cross over the river onto Springwater Road. The park entrance is still 11 miles away from this tiny town.
Viewpoint Restaurant and Lounge is located way out in the country about a mile from the park entrance on Springwater. They are open for breakfast serve great food (and drinks) all day. We really enjoyed the Friday night Prime Rib special. They have a full service bar and a beer garden outside on summer weekends with bands. Disc Golfers are always welcome.
The main reason we stopped at the restaurant was to avoid the trip back to Portland on the 205 North during rush hour. The traffic in Portland sucks. To be clear, there is no traffic near the park. The park is in a very rural setting, miles away from city life.
Disc Golf Destination
Portland is a fantastic disc golf destination and Milo is the jewel in the crown. In addition to awesome disc golf Portland has a fun vibe. Milo and Pier Park are must play courses for all skill levels. Blue Lake is for those big arms that didn't get enough distance shots at Milo. The airport area hotels are newer and close to both Pier and Blue Lake. There are also some good hotels on 1-84 near Blue Lake. These hotels are also convenient for exploring the courses on the Columbia River Gorge. Staying in this area may help avoid some of the traffic problems in Portland.
This would absolutely get a five star rating as it provides a five star Championship challenge in a beautiful five star State Park. However, navigation issues and confusing signage prevent a five star rating. Milo McGiver is still a must play disc golf destination for serious players and on my favorites list.
There was some construction along Holes 1,2 and 27 of the original layout. Hole 27 was unplayable at that time. Not sure how long that will last.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -Huge tee pads
-Pro and AM pads
-Multiple pin locatoins
-Garbage cans through out
-Shots of all kinds, bring your whole bag for this course!
Cons: Not sure of many cons. May be a little long for beginners. Other than that I can't think of any other issues.
Other Thoughts: This course is absolutely amazing. It is well kept. Lots of volunteer hours go into making this one of the best courses in the world. Take a lunch. You'll be wanting a nice meal after a round at this monster.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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