OREGON’S BEST OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

By The Pigeon Press Staff

The Pigeon Press (Portland, Oregon)

Feeling a little stressed? Looking for a way to take a load off after finals? Live in Oregon? Thanks to the writers from NW Academy’s Pigeon press we have a list of ways you can go out and relax in the great outdoors. 

State Parks:

silverfallsSilver Falls State Park 

Distance from Portland: One and a half hours
Cost: $5 for daily use, check website for yearly passes and rental fees.
Seasons Opened: Year round
Attractions: Camping, biking, hiking, horseback riding and waterfalls.
Address: 20024 Silver Falls Highway Southeast, Sublimity, OR 97385

Silver Falls State Park offers many activities and is easily accessible. Silver Falls captures the world renowned beauty that Oregon is known for. Tucked away in the Foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Silver Falls State Park is 9,200 acres, making it the largest State Park in the state. Silver Falls State Park is famous for its incredible water falls, specifically the 177 foot South Falls which visitors can walk behind as part of the popular Trail of Ten Falls hike. The moderate level hike covers 9 miles with an elevation change of 800 feet, yet the trail loops back to the park center after passing through a series of breathtaking waterfalls and rocky canyons. Besides the popular hikes, the park has over 25 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. The park has hundreds of tent sites, RV spaces, rental cabins and a designated horse campground. The cabins available for renting have heat and nearby restrooms, cooking facilities and water. The park is home to many varieties of plants and trees, guides on the flora and fauna can be found at the visitors center.

deschutesTumalo State Park

Distance from Portland: Three and a half hours
Cost: $5 for daily use, check website for yearly passes and rental fees.
Seasons: Year round.
Attractions: Fishing, hiking, biking. Nearby lakes, golfing, skiing, snowboarding.
Address: 64120 O.B. Riley Road, Bend, OR 97001

Located nearby the town of Bend, Oregon, Tumalo State Park allows you to escape the chaos of city life, yet still be able to visit restaurants and shops. For those wanting to get away in nature, the park offers many recreational activities. The Deschutes river flows through park grounds, the park is a popular spot for fly fishing, kayaking and floating in the summertime. The park offers many beautiful hikes that wind through canyons along the river. The hiking, rafting, kayaking and fishing all vary in difficulty, making the park a versatile vacation spot for novices and professionals alike. In the winter, the park is a great, cheaper option for lodging when skiing at nearby Mt. Bachelor. At night visitors can expect to see a sky full of stars and hear the wildlife such as coyotes and deer from the comfort of their tent, RV or one of seven yurts that can be rented.

Biking

mccallTom McCall Waterfront Park

Distance from Portland: A short walk
Cost: Hourly Rentals Range from $7-$30 for different vehicles, an average mountain bike: $10 per hour
Seasons Open: March – October
Attractions: Bicycling, Tandem Bicycling, Surrey Four Wheel Biking, Sit-Down Biking, Tag-a-Long Bike Extensions, Miles of Scenic Pathways and Roads
Address: 1020 Southwest Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97204

Everyone loves the Portland Waterfront, especially for activities such as biking and rollerblading. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which takes up most of the waterfront blocks, offers many beautiful attractions including numerous fountains. With Kerr Bikes, a small bike rental shack located on Salmon St. and SW Naito Parkway, there is easy access to all kinds of vehicles to enjoy the extremely accessible, beautiful biking route. The Hawthorne, Morrison and Burnside all connect to the Tom McCall Waterfront park, and all have pedestrian and biking access. Kerr Bikes offers numerous rental options for vehicles, but you can also bring your own skates or bikes and enjoy the public path ways for your own. Along with rentals, Kerr Bikes has a bike maintenance station open to the public for people to fix-up their own bikes.

bikesNaked Bike Ride

Distance from Portland: A short walk
Cost: Embarrassment
Season’s Open: The ride usually takes place in early June
Attractions: A safe biking route through portland along with thousands of interesting people
Address: 5700 Northeast Halsey Street, Portland, OR 97213

Every year in early June, thousands of people strip down to little or nothing and bike through Downtown Portland as a form of protest. The ride is meant to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists, as well as protest the country’s dependency on oil run transportation. The ride is open to all people willing to riding their bike alongside thousands of nude cyclists. There is no pressure to go nude yourself, but the nudity is what makes the event unique. Last year, the event took place at 9 pm, on June 7. The thousands of nude cyclists launched out of Normandale Park. The Portland Naked Bike Ride does not disclose their route. 2013’s ride had 8,150 participants. Nude protests are protected by Oregon’s constitution making public nudity completely legal. To get more information as to how to join into the next naked bike ride you can follow World Naked Bike Ride – Portland Oregon on Facebook, or visit them at http://pdxwnbr.org.

Urban

Amusement_park_rideOaks Amusement Park

Distance from Portland: 20 minutes
Cost: Around $10 for a full ride bracelet
Seasons Open: The skating rink is open year round while the rides are only open from March to October.
Attractions: Roller coasters and other rides, a roller skating rink, and fair food.
Address: 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202

Oaks Amusement park might not be the best park in the world, however it is one of the best in Oregon. It has plenty of rides for all ages. There are slower rides for kids along with much scarier ones for the thrillseekers. Navigation through the park is quick and easy thanks to its size. Lines are normally 5-15 minutes long, which is much shorter than many other amusement parks. The roller skating rink comes complete with music playing throughout the building along with a few fun arcade games you can play while in your skates. Overall Oaks Park is a fun afternoon with friends and/or family.

Lan_Su_Chinese_GardenThe Lan Su Chinese Garden

Distance from Portland: A short walk
Cost: $10 or free with membership.
Season opened: There are tours of the garden year round.
Attractions: Tours of the beautiful and authentic Chinese garden and lakeside tea.
Address: 239 Northwest Everett Street, Portland, OR 97209

Located in the middle of Portland’s Chinatown touring The Lan Su Chinese Garden allows the everyday person to experience a little bit of Chinese culture. The garden features beautiful flowers and in the middle of the garden there is a lake filled with fish and other wildlife. You can order tea from a small restaurant and drink it as you admire the beauty of the lake. Getting a tour will give you some knowledge of Chinese history and culture. You can also rent the garden for personal events.

Winter

Timberline

Distance from Portland: Depending on road conditions, One and a half to two hours
Cost: Prices for a Timberline lift ticket cost anywhere from $0 to $70 depending on the time of day, season and age. Lodging costs around $160 a night, with larger rooms costing up to $300. The price all depends on the amount of people staying, and the size of the room.
Seasons Open: Timberline Lodge is open all year, along with one ski lift for year round skiing.
Attractions: Skiing, snowboarding, walking, climbing, hiking and lodging.
Address: 27500 West Leg Road, Timberline Lodge, OR 97028

Timberline Lodge is a destination resort, and great for anyone and everyone. It was built back in the late 1930s and is now a National Historic Landmark. With breathtaking carpentry on the inside, and excellent dining, the lodge creates a warm atmosphere suitable for all ages, and don’t forget the pool and the hot tub located just outside the Lodge. During the winter, Timberline Lodge becomes enveloped in a blanket of snow allowing for skiing and snowboarding. Timberline has the longest ski season in the U.S. and brings ski teams from around the country there, to practice skiing. With six chairlifts and around 3,000 of vertical feet to ski, there is plenty of places to ski. After winter ends, skiers and snowboarders can ski the Palmer Glacier which is always covered in snow.

MtHoodMeadowsMt Hood Meadows

Distance from Portland: Depending on road conditions, 1½-2 hours
Cost: Tickets range from $32-$69.
Seasons Open: Winter.
Attractions: Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.
Address: 14040 hwy 35, Mount Hood, OR 97041

Mt Hood Meadows is only a winter resort, however it has some of the best skiing on Mt Hood. There are 10 chairlifts with access to some of the steepest terrain on Hood. This resort caters to more advanced skiers, however there is still terrain that is for beginners. In the lodge, there are a few restaurants and a cafeteria depending on whether you bring your or buy a lunch. Meadows also offers ski and snowboard rentals, as well as lessons for for all ages.

Skibowl

Distance from Portland: Depending on road conditions, 1½-2 hours
Cost: Tickets range from free to $74
Seasons Open: Winter and summer
Attractions: Snowboarding, skiing and tubing during the winter, and bungee jumping and an alpine slide during the summer.
Address: 88335 East Government Camp Loop Road, Government Camp, OR 97028

Skibowl is a great resort to do family skiing. It is the closest resort to Portland. There are great ski lessons for the kids called Mogul Busters that teach good fundamentals of the sport. Skibowl has the largest night skiing in all of America. However, since Skibowl is lower on the mountain, they do not get as much snow as the other resorts, and their chairlifts are old. During the summer, there are plenty of activities to do at Skibowl. They provide ziplines, go karts, a mountain bike park and many more activities. Its a wonderful place to spend a summer day.

bachelorMt. Bachelor

Distance from Portland: Three hours and 45 minutes
Cost: Tickets range from $41 to $79
Seasons Open: Winter and summer
Attractions: During winter snowboarding, skiing and hiking. During summer, downhill mountain biking and hiking.
Address: 13000 SW Century Drive Bend, OR 97702

Mt. Bachelor is arguably the best skiing that can be found in Oregon. It is a 9,000 foot peak with access to skiing 360 degrees around it. With nine chairlifts, and a couple of rope tows, there are plenty of lines to be found. There is no lodging at the base of the mountain, however skiers can stay in Bend, Sunriver or Mt. Bachelor Village which are all around a half an hour away from the mountain. The mountain has terrain for all kinds of skiers; whether you are an intermediate, beginner or advanced skier. During the summer, the chairlifts substitute as bike carriers providing for plenty of downhill mountain biking.

Coast:

352px-Astoria_ColumnThe Astoria Column
Distance from Portland: One and a half hours
Cost: Admission to see this monument is no cost, but parking is $2 per vehicle.
Seasons Open: The column is open year round.
Address: 1 Coxcomb Drive, Astoria, Oregon

The Astoria Column was built in 1926, modeled after the Trajan’s Column in Rome. It is one of Oregon’s most visited parks, and understandably so, as it gives viewers as full panorama of the city. After climbing the structure’s internal spiral staircase and stepping out onto the balcony, visitors can see the column’s ornate features and paintings up close.

Riverfront Trolley
Distance from Portland: One and a half hours
Cost: One ride is $1, or an all-day pass is $2.
Seasons Open: It is open from the spring to fall
Address: You can catch the trolley at several point along its route that travels around the waterfront or wave the trolley down for an extra dollar.

The historic riverfront trolley gives riders the tour of the waterfront with sights ranging from notable film locations such as the house where the 1985 film The Goonies, was filmed, or the building were Kindergarten Cop, was filmed. The trolley also passes many old factories and landmarks that played an integral role in Oregon’s history.

astoriaThe Columbia River Maritime Museum
Distance from Portland: One and a half hours
Cost: Admission fee ranges from free to $18 depending on the age. 3D movies cost an additional $5 per person.
Seasons Open: All year round.
Address: 1792 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR 97103

When going to this museum, viewers learn about maritime history and ecology. Not the most interesting subject? Then simply explore the famous boats perched on plastic waves, reaching high above floor, or venture to military room, filled with historic cannons.

800px-Aquarium_tunnelNewport, The Oregon Coast Aquarium
Distance from Portland: Two and a half hours
Cost: Admission varies from to under $20, depending on age.
Seasons Open: Year round.
Address: 2820 Southeast Ferry Slip Road, Newport, OR 97365

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is fun for the whole family. From puffins to sea otters, the aquarium has all the animals, birds, fish and more that inhabit the state and beyond. These creatures are on view for all to see or for those who want to learn more about the area’s ecology.

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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