Unique Places in Oregon

  • The Rhododendron Garden
    The Rhododendron Garden
    by Ewingjr98
  • Brush meets the beach and surf
    Brush meets the beach and surf
    by fred98115
  • Creek flowing through beach sand
    Creek flowing through beach sand
    by fred98115

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Oregon

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Historic Oregon Trail

    by Roadquill Written Feb 18, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The last section of the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail, beginning in Missouri and transversing the expanse of the plains and mountains through to the Willamette River runs through the Columbia Gorge. Highway 30, East of Portland follows the Gorge. Along the way you will find signs noting certain sections of the Oregon Trail

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    PACIFIC UNIVERSITY

    by mtncorg Written Oct 20, 2011

    One of the oldest schools in Oregon, Pacific University began as an school for orphans left behind by the Applegate Trail party – a trail that was established linking the Willamette Valley with California – in 1847. The school was formally established as the Tualatin Academy in 1849 and was founded by the United Church of Christ with whom the school till maintains a working relationship with. The school developed a college alongside what was originally a high school and the first graduate was Harvey Scott who went onto to become one of the most important newspaper editors in the region during the latter half of the 19th century. The high school would eventually close in 1915 with the advent of local public high schools, but the college slowly grew and there are satellite campuses today in Portland, Eugene and Hillsboro that with the campus here serve some 3,200 students. The main campus in Forest Grove is centered around Marsh Hall, built in 1895 and rebuilt following a fire in 1975. The school is well known for its writer’s program and its optometry school.

    Little Man in front of Marsh Hall at Pacific Old College Hall was home for Tualatin Academy Marsh Hall and the unique Boxer mascot
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    LINFIELD COLLEGE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 20, 2011

    One of the four colleges that predate Oregon’s Statehood – the others are Willamette University, Pacific University and Lewis & Clark College – Linfield dates to 1858 when a Baptist college was established in McMinnville – first as the Baptist College and then known as McMinnville College. The name was changed again in 1922 to Linfield College to honor Baptist minister George Linfield whose widow gave property to the college in order that it might promote Christian education and serve as a memorial to her late husband. The school is still affliated with the American Baptist church. A new important branch of the school was established in 1982 in Portland which first served as a nursing school but has gone on to include other health administration fields, as well.

    Linfield is well known for its athletic teams – the football team is always a power in the NCAA Division III, while the baseball and softball teams have captured two national championships – the baseball coach is alumnus Scott Brosius, the former New York Yankee World Series MVP. Another well known alum is Amy Tan, author of “The Joy Luck Club”.

    Pioneer Hall was Linfield – then, McMinnville College – for a long time. Opened in 1883, the building housed the entire college. The building was renamed Pioneer Hall in 1929 in honor of the pioneers of the school. Today the building is divided into classrooms on the lower floors and a residence hall on the upper floors.

    Pioneer Hall at Linfield Melrose Hall is the administrative center Closer look at the tower of Pioneer Hall
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    Saddle Mountain

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Only a few miles from the popular beach resort of Seaside, is Saddle Mountain. The mountain is a little over 3400 feet high and rises high above the surrounding mountains of the Coast Range to occupy a very conspicuous position. It lies within a small state park - from the top it is easy to tell where the park boundary ends and the commercial logging territory begins - which has a handful of tent campsites and a parking lot for hikers.

    The trail is about 6 miles roundtrip and you gain over 1000 feet in elevation. The trail is very popular and you should try and aim to be on the trail early in the morning for the best experience. The trail is a wide affair which winds up through steep forested slopes at first, but later, just below the summit, you are above the timberline - not because of high elevation, but because of the nature of the mountain. In the late spring, there are wonderous shows of wildflowers to be seen. And the view from the top encompasses most of NW Oregon - from the Washington side of the mouth of the Columbia to the Cascade volcanoes (Rainier - St Helens - Adams - Hood) to the Coast range of Clatsop and northern Tillamook counties to the beaches from the Nehalem Bay area north to the mouth of the Columbia, again.

    Mouth of the Coulmbia River beyond the Little Girl
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Travel with Pets

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    Saddle Mtn II

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here is a view from the top of Saddle Mountain - the western 'saddlehorn' - to the south towards Nehalem Bay and the Onion Peak area. The top of Saddle Mountain is a fairly wide area and you will normally get to share it with others. The earlier in the day, the better, unless you want to go up for the sunset, which is also recommended. Don't go up without a headlamp/flashlight though.

    South towards Nehalem Bay and Onion Peak
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    Saddle Mountain III

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The north and west sides of the summit area of Saddle Mountain are very steep. On a quiet day up there it is quite a magical spot. Astoria and the mouth of the Columbia River look like you can touch them. Large ships go in and out the mouth, moving upriver towards Portland - 110 miles upriver. It is even fairly easy to tell if the tide is in - or out.

    Looking north off the summit of Saddle Mountain
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Travel with Pets

    Was this review helpful?

  • slabeaume's Profile Photo

    Drift Creek Bridge

    by slabeaume Updated Apr 4, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Near Lincoln City (follow the signs), you'll find Drift Creek covered bridge. Oregon has several covered bridges, this one is closest to the ocean. It's also thought to be the oldest one in Oregon---dating back to 1914.
    Unfortunately, I understand it's recently been dismantled and is being reconstructed in a near by town.

    drift creek bridge
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    ERRATIC ROCK STATE WAYSIDE

    by mtncorg Written Aug 31, 2010

    Sitting on a foothill on the edge of the Yamhill Valley just off the busy OR18 highway is this 36 ton rock known as a glacial erratic. Erratics are types of rocks that are unlike any of their surroundings. These rocks were glacially encased in icebergs and shunted down from Canada during one of the different Missoula Floods - catacylsmic floods that swept down over eastern Washington and into the Willamette Valley through the Columbia River Gorge at the end of teh last ice age - 13,000 to 15,000 years ago. The rock here is not seen outside of Canada and is some 600,000 million years old. It is the largest glacial erratic known in the Willamette Valley. The park was originally purchased by the State in 1956 and barely avoided budget cuts which would have closed the wayside in recent years. Besides the erratic itself, the view out over the Yamhill Valley and surrounding hills is gorgeous. Parking is alongside the road below with a paved 0.2 mile trail ascending alongside a vineyard.

    Mtncorg resting under the glacial erratic Mtncorg showing the way to the start of the trail View north over the Yamhill Valley Vineyards
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Travel with Pets
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    ALSEA FALLS

    by mtncorg Written Aug 31, 2010

    The forests and hills separating the Willamette Valley from the headwaters of the South Fork of the Alsea River fall into the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management – BLM. The BLM has established the South Fork Alsea River National Back Country Byway on a road that follows much of the course of the South Fork from its confluence near the community of Alsea, over the hills down into the Willamette Valley to the little town of Alpine. It is a wonderfully scenic backdoor that has this little waterfall as its highlight. Trails and picnic sites surround the second growth forest around the waterfall. There is a $3 day fee. About a half mile further up the road is a small campground - $12 per night fee – that will allow you the chance to tarry even longer. The park is, for all its seeming isolation, well known to locals.

    Corvallis take OR 99W south 15 miles, west on Alpine Road five miles to Alpine Junction. Continue on the South Fork Alsea River Access Road nine miles to Alsea Falls. From Alsea, drive south on following signs to Alsea Falls.

    Waters of the South Fork Alsea tumbling away Mtncorg presents the Alsea Falls

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    FORT HOSKINS

    by mtncorg Written Aug 31, 2010

    Native Americans living in western Oregon had been decimated by disease before the European pioneers showed up in the 1840’s. The few hundred left were shunted off to the Coast Reservation – along with many from southern Oregon – which originally encompassed much of the Oregon Coast from Cape Lookout in the north to Winchester Bay on the Umpqua River in the south. Treaties are made to be broken and eventually the tribes lost off of their lands in 1954 – though most was lost in the late 19th century. Two tribes have recently reestablished themselves – the Siletz and the Grand Ronde – regaining federal recognition and each have their own successful casinos.

    Fort Hoskins was built along with Fort Yamhill to keep the pioneers in the Willamette Valley and the Natives on the coast. The forts were built along the only two known routes over the Coast Range at the time. The trail leading over from Fort Hoskins was so rugged that there was no need for a blockhouse to be built. Built in 1856 above the south end of Kings Valley with Lt Philip Sheridan playing a key role, some 200-300 troops were garrisoned here around a pair of parade grounds. The fort served its original purpose keeping the peace until the Civil War erupted. The regular troops were sent east to take part in more active endeavors – Sheridan would become a four star general – and they were replaced by California and Washington volunteers. Their role was modified to not only keep the two Worlds apart but also to keep an eye on Secessionist ideas floating about settlers in the Willamette Valley – Lincoln was elected here, like in the rest of the country as a result of a split in the Democratic Party, plus Oregonian Joseph Lane had run as the vice presidential candidate on the Southern Democratic ticket in 1860. It was not until late in 1864 that Oregon finally came down strong on the side of the Union and Oregon volunteers garrisoned the fort for its last four months of operation. With the end of the war, the fort was shut down.

    Only recently, Benton County has established this park on the grounds of the old fort similar to the park that the State has produced further north at Fort Yamhill. There is a short trail that takes you to the different sites of the old post. It is usually very quiet here and you can easily get a feeling for what I must have been like for the soldiers to be stationed here at World’s End some 150 years ago.

    Overlooking the site of the old fort The old parade ground at Fort Hoskins
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    THOMPSON’S MILL STATE HISTORIC PARK

    by mtncorg Written Aug 31, 2010

    Purchased by the State in 2004, the Park was just opened in 2007. Here is Oregon’s oldest surviving water-powered mill. Located next to the slow ambling Calapooia River a few miles south of Albany, the mill ground flour from 1858 until the 1940’s when both wheat production in the Willamette Valley dropped and consumer interest turned to store-bought bread, the mill began to produce animal feed. Electric power generation was added in the 1980’s – the original mill had been granted the right to use the Calapooia waters ‘forever’. This clause led the State to buying the property and ending the agreement in order to regain the water for both the purpose of local farm irrigation and for migrating fish – both suffering from the electrical generation of the old mill.

    The mill is beautifully restored with lots of exhibits within the mill and surrounding grounds. Several tours are given a day – many more on the weekends – and you can gain a very fine picture of the history of the mill and the local role it played for so many years. The grain silos are painted similar to how they appeared around the time of World War One when the mill was grinding away 24/7 to feed the war.

    There originally was a small town that grew up alongside the mill called Boston. The folks in Boston did not give the Oregon & California Railroad a proper kickback in 1871, while Captain Frank Shedd not only obliged on that matter but gave land for both the railroad and a depot to be built. Overnight the town of Boston decamped from the mill site to the railroad and the present-day town of Shedd was formed.

    There is a present move to bring a new State Park online once a year. Thompson’s Mill is already one of the gems of the entire system. Located on a bucolic site, I can heartily recommend a visit to this park lying only a mile west of I-5.

    From I-5 use exit 228 and travel west OR34 about three miles; about seven miles south on OR99E to Shedd and one mile east on Boston Mill Drive

    Thompson's Mill mirrored in the Millrace Mtncorg testing the waters at Thompson's Mill Millrace waters blend downstream into Calapooia Grain silos and the millworks Millstone exhibit inside the Mill
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    COVERED BRIDGES OF LANE COUNTY PART TWO

    by mtncorg Written Aug 31, 2010

    The Mohawk River Valley run north from Springfield. Named by an early pioneer from New York State, the valley is a quiet rural valley that was one time much busier with various logging camps that have slowly closed with time. You can drive through the length of much of the valley and pop out over northern hills to connect with OR 228 at Crawfordsville. One reason to do this might be to continue your covered bridge tour connecting the southern Linn county bridges with a pair of bridges to be found here in the heart of the Mohawk Valley.

    The Earnest Bridge crosses the Mohawk River a few miles upstream from the valley's main town of Marcola. Built in 1938 replacing and earlier covered bridge, the Earnest Bridge played a role in the 1960's movie "Shenandoah". Rounded portal entries and roofline openings are in keeping with common Lane County architectural themes found on covered bridges. Unique to the Earnest Bridge is a covered window on the southeastern end which was placed to give motorists a glance at potential oncoming traffic.

    A few miles away is the Wendling Bridge. Also built in 1938, but crossing Mill Creek, this bridge looks like another version of the Earnest Bridge - elliptical portal entries and ribbon eaves openings - only without the extra window needed to check for oncoming traffic. Wendling used to be a logging camp/town but times are much quieter here today.

    Mtncorg at the Earnest Bridge over the Mohawk Earnest Bridge over the Mohawk River Even the window is covered on the Earnest Inside the Earnest Bridge Mtncorg at the Wendling Bridge
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Travel with Pets
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    COVERED BRIDGES OF LANE COUNTY PART ONE

    by mtncorg Written Aug 31, 2010

    There are four bridges to be found in Lowell and another three in Cottage Grove, but the next two tips cover another four bridges which might be among Lane County's best. First is the Goodpasture Bridge - named after local residents and not after possible meadows in the area. The Goodpasture Bridge is the longest covered public bridge in Oregon and being located crossing the McKenzie River adjacent to the busy OR 126 highway near Vida, the bridge is probably the most viewed covered bridge in Oregon, as well. Built in 1938, there are ten gothic-styled louvered windows on each side. Semi-elliptical portal arches and false end beams enclose a 165 foot Howe truss. The bridge was extensively rebuilt in 1987 and a stairway on the southeast corner gives fishermen access to the magnificent catch/release trout waters of the river below.

    From the longest and most visible, to one of the shorter and out of the way bridges; the Coyote Creek Bridge. This bridge dates to 1922. The Howe truss here is only 60 feet. It was on the route of the original Territorial Road which in 1851 was the first main route from the main settled area of Oregon - Oregon City/Champoeg - to California goldfields. The bridge is found off the now semi-quiet Territorial Highway between the communities of Lorane and Crow. There is no sign to this bridge so pay close attention to the map and the sign for "Battle Creek Road". The bridge is only a quarter mile to the west on this small road off the Territorial.

    Mtncorg on the McKenzie beneath the Goodpasture Goodpasture Bridge over the McKenzie River McKenzie River below Goodpasture gothic arches Mtncorg at the Coyote Creek Bridge Coyote Creek Bridge is off the beaten path!
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    COVERED BRIDGES OF LINN COUNTY

    by mtncorg Written Aug 31, 2010

    Neighboring Lane County may have more covered bridges – 17 – than the eight bridges you find here in Linn County, but some of the most beautiful will be found here. Unlike other counties, most of the bridges – though not all – feature large openings on the side – to allow better air circulation – showing off the inner bridge structure – Howe trusses. Most of the bridges spanned Thomas Creek near Scio. In fact, three still cross the creek and two others that did were moved to nearby cities – Stayton and Sweet Home. Hunting for the covered bridges is also to explore some of the prettiest Oregon rural countryside.

    Mtncorg at the Larwood Bridge Mtncorg tastes the waters at the Short Bridge Gilkey Bridge crossing Thomas Creek Interior of the Hannah Bridge over Thomas Creek The Weddell Bridge lives on in Sweet Home
    Related to:
    • Travel with Pets
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    COVERED BRIDGES OF THE COAST RANGE

    by mtncorg Updated Aug 31, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A report from 1905 noted that Oregon bridges lasted only about five years if they were not covered, so in the ensuing years, some 450 covered bridges were built. Times change, reinforced concrete techniques were vastly improved and most of the covered bridges are gone or have been replaced. If there is one area wooden bridges needed to be covered, it was in the dank, dark Coast Range where over 100 inches of rain can fall a year. You will find more about the individual bridges in Yachats, Florence and Kings Valley. The bridges share ribbon windows at the eaves to allow interior lighting and because of the high amount of rainfall, the sides of the houses are flared.

    One bridge without its own home on other pages is the Drift Creek Bridge – Oregon’s oldest dating to 1914. I have read that the bridge was built for the road which was the predecessor to the main US 101 highway. Newer and bigger roads bypassed that old route and even on a sideway, the wooden span was bypassed by a concrete span in the 1960’s. Kept as a monument to early Lincoln County pioneers, the deteriorating condition of the bridge made it so that even pedestrians could go out onto the bridge in 1988. The County decided to dismantle the bridge in 1997 and at the last moment the Sweitz family stepped up and asked for the bridge. The family persevered through many hardships and struggles in the next couple years but with the help of local timber companies, the bridge was rebuilt on their property, crossing Bear Creek about eight miles north and inland from its old site. In return for the bridge, the family granted a public easement for heritage purposes and you can admire their sweat equity as the bridge lives on in its new location.

    Mtncorg and Drift Creek Bridge - Oregon's oldest Interior of renewed Drift Creek Bridge Bear Creek flowing beneath the bridge Flag in front of the Drift Creek Bridge Mtncorg at the North Fork Yachats Bridge
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Travel with Pets

    Was this review helpful?

Oregon Hotels

See all 1046 Hotels in Oregon

Top Oregon Hotels

Seaside Hotels
65 Reviews - 161 Photos
Portland Hotels
1408 Reviews - 2755 Photos
Lincoln City Hotels
54 Reviews - 145 Photos
Cannon Beach Hotels
88 Reviews - 242 Photos
Newport Hotels
121 Reviews - 251 Photos
Ashland Hotels
75 Reviews - 181 Photos
Astoria Hotels
77 Reviews - 255 Photos
Florence Hotels
108 Reviews - 513 Photos
Bend Hotels
82 Reviews - 140 Photos
Eugene Hotels
208 Reviews - 272 Photos
Gold Beach Hotels
13 Reviews - 16 Photos
Hood River Hotels
40 Reviews - 129 Photos
McMinnville Hotels
28 Reviews - 96 Photos
Dunes City Hotels
See nearby hotels
Medford Hotels
13 Reviews - 13 Photos

Instant Answers: Oregon

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

93 travelers online now

Comments

Oregon Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Oregon off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Oregon sightseeing.
Map of Oregon