Summertime and the living is easy
07.18.2019

Who doesn’t love summer in Oregon? After making it through a cold, rainy winter and then a warmer (sometimes) rainy spring, we flock outside to enjoy some of the best weather in the lower 48. When the whole “staycation” concept came along, a lot of Oregonians were left scratching their heads. In summer, we’ve been staying near home and vacationing around Oregon seemingly since Lewis and Clark days.

This summer, I’ve developed a list of forest experiences that you can only get in Oregon. My plan is to check most of these off my list this summer, and I hope others will enjoy them too!

1.     Travel back in time at Oregon’s ghost forest. The ghost forest of Neskowin has around 100 stumps and snags from a 2,000-year-old stand of Sitka spruce. The stand was buried by an earthquake and is now a natural phenomenon unique to Oregon.

2.     Visit one of our amazing six state forests. Oregon has some beautiful state forests featuring trails, campgrounds, day-use areas, wildlife viewing and fishing. If you’re on the west side of Oregon this summer, chances are you will either travel by or through a state forest. Making a short detour to visit one will be something you won’t soon forget.

3.     Visit one of our 11 national forests. Yes, you read that right: Oregon has 11 national forests! From the southern border with California through central Oregon and up into eastern Oregon, you can choose from a wide array of forest types.

4.     Take a forest bath. I was skeptical about this one, but after doing a little research, I am game to give a forest bath a try. Basically, a forest bath is all about spending time in a forest and was popularized in the 1980s in Japan. All you have to do is walk 30-40 minutes in the woods to get some great stress relief. 

5.     Take a hike in Forest Park. For the Portlanders among us, this is a great place to consider for that forest bath. Forest Park is one the country’s largest urban forests. So if you really can’t leave town, you can still spend time in a forest!

6.     Visit the World Forestry Center. The World Forestry Center is located in Washington Park, right next door to the Children’s Museum and The Oregon Zoo. Maybe you’ve wondered about the World Forestry Center after seeing the signs on Highway 26 leading out of Portland? The Discovery Museum is a great place to visit and learn more about the importance of forests and trees in our lives.

7.     Mountain bike in the Willamette National Forest. Some of the best trails in the southern Cascades are found in this national forest. Make sure you pick the trail that matches your experience level.

8.     Hang out in a hammock under a tree in Bend. I am probably not the right demographic for the new Loge Camp in Bend, but if you like bunking with a group of friends in a shared room and spending the evening in a hammock under the stars and trees, then this is the place for you. It also comes complete with free events, pool and Wi-Fi.

Erin Isselmann

Executive Director

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