Oregon Off The Beaten Path

  • 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

Oregon Off The Beaten Path

  • Forest Park

    Portland Off The Beaten Path

    I'm not sure where the main entrance to Forest Park is -- I have a friend who lives next to it and my entrance is her backyard. Anyway, this is the largest urban wilderness park in America, and despite the annoying horns and whistles that come from the train tracks along the river it still makes good hiking and exploring.

  • Pittock Mansion

    Portland Off The Beaten Path

    The Pittock Mansion was built by one of Portland's richest citizens in the "old days". The mansion was purchased by the city in 1964, after the family put the house on the market and the house was damanaged during a storm in 1962. The house and its land have became part of the parks system. The mansion features wonderful views of the mountains. On...

  • Historic Oregon Trail

    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


    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...


    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...

  • Saddle Mountain

    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...

  • Saddle Mtn II

    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...

  • Saddle Mountain III

    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...

  • Drift Creek Bridge

    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.


    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...


    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...


    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...


    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...


    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...


    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...


    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...


    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,...

  • Dry Creek Falls

    Sometimes it really pays to pick up those local brochures when you are traveling in unfamiliar territory especially if you do not have any kind of guide with you. Oregon's visitor centers were crammed with them and you just have to spend a few minutes to make sure you get the ones that best suit your interests. We picked up lots for camping and in...

  • Lavender Valley

    Some places you anticipate and they let you down. Others you hold little regard for and they make you eat your hat. Then there are the places you know nothing about that flat out bowl you over in surprise. That was Lavender Valley. I can thank my wife, Oregon brochures and beer for this discovery. Beer? Yup. If it wasn't for my going to so many...

  • Disc Golf

    Disc Golf is a sport played much life ball golf. Instead of holes, there are chained baskets. Trees and water hazards work the same way. Instead of a ball and club, you throw flying discs which are smaller, heavier and more beveled than "regular Frisbees" so you can throw then a lot further. I was very into the sport in 1994 and visited over 100...

  • Bend

    To be perfectly honest, when I went to Bend in 1994 it was for one reason: The Deschutes Brewery. I was going to every brewery in my remote path and I wound up hitting about 120 of them on a four month trip around the western US. But as with many beer adventures, it brought me to an area I would have sadly missed otherwise. What I found was...


    The blockhouse at Fort Yamhill used to sit atop a hill above the Grand Ronde valley serving as a place to keep the pioneer settlers and the local Native American tribes that had been brought together here at the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation established in 1855. The fort was only active for ten years, 1856 to 1866, and with the inactivation of the...


    Located a couple miles north of the busy OR 18 highway and the popular Spirit Mountain Casino – run under the auspices of the local Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde – is the newly established Fort Yamhill State Park. Oregon’s history regarding relations between Native Americans and 19th century pioneer immigrants was somewhat quieter than...


    St Bridget is Sweden’s most celebrated saint. Living in the early part of the 1300’s, growing up as a daughter of a well-to-do and well-linked politically family, she raised a family of eight children. After returning from a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1341-1343, her husband, with whom she had trekked, died. She then founded a new...

  • Animal lovers must make time if they are...

    Great Cats World Park is a top-notch large cat experience. What they do is train large cats for movies (Vertical Limit was their latest film), commercials, education shows, etc. Although I check the box as a "zoo," this is NOT a zoo. I don't like zoos, but I would go back as often as I could if I were near. The tours last- approximately- 1.5 hours...

  • House of Mystery

    We had read about the Oregon Vortex, where objects supposedly did not act the way we had learned it in physics in school, so we decided to go there on our tour of Oregon. It was very interesting! I have no idea how this is working, if it is some sort of magnetic field, but it was great fun. A ball running UP instead of down was just fascinating to...

  • Fort Clatsop

    Fort Clatsop, near present day Astoria, Oregon, was the winter encampment for Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery from December 1805 - March 1806. Lewis and Clark had built this fort near the Pacific coast after completing the first overland journey across the North American continent. Today the reconstructed fort is a part of the Lewis...

  • Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint

    As Karen and I were driving through Oregon, a few miles north of the town of Redmond, we were very pleasantly surprised to come upon a scene that took out breath away. The Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint is a small state park which overlooks a large canyon with sheer basalt sides. Three bridges cross the canyon at the viewpoint and the...

  • Oregon Vortex

    January 2008Just on the other side of the California/Oregon border heading north on I-5, U.S. 199, or the old U.S. 99. Surprised they haven't claimed it as their own, as they have in the past claimed The Oregon Caves. It is at least as fascinating as the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose for implausible reasons of its own. What Sara Winchester...

  • Oceanside!

    I spent a week in Portland and went on a day trip to the coast. We ended up in Oceanside. It was beautiful, empty (september, so too cold to swim), and very relaxing. There was one little pub on the street where we ate dinner and watched the sun set. Very nice.

  • The Bonneville Fish Hatchery

    Traveling through the Columbia River Gorge on a rainy day, I decided to stop and visit this place. I figured it would be interesting and would hopefully get me out of the rain. The Bonneville fish hatchery is located downstream of the Bonneville dam. It was the first hatchery in Oregon to use rearing ponds for fish hatching. This method was...

  • Sandy; mopar junkyard

    This is THE mopar junkyard for all the mopar-fans, chrysler, plymouth, dodge, desoto, Imperial. All presented in well organized and nice junkyard. its a experience!wildcats wrecking in Sandy, OR.check their site for driving instructions, hard to find without instructions!

  • Go to the lakes

    Pictured are only two of hundreds of beautiful lakes you can go to in Oregon. I show these two because they are easily accessible for anyone. Both offer family fun. Throughout the state from the coast to the Idaho border, there are lakes to drive to, lakes to walk to, and for the masochists among you, lakes to labor to up steep mountain trails...

  • See an instant river

    Oregon is so well endowed with mountains, lakes, and rivers that to suggest one over another is probably an act of pure personal choice. There is, however, one river in Central Oregon that is astounding. If you are traveling east from Sweet Home on Hywy #20 towards Sisters (about 85 miles) you will see signs directing you to the Metolius River...

  • I stopped at several places in...

    I stopped at several places in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and I found the Umpqua Dunes to be by far the largest and most impressive. There is an awesome hike here called the Umpqua Dunes Trail which is kind of strenuous because your hiking for quite a while in loose sand. The trailhead is on the west side of Hwy 101 about 1/4 mile...

  • Turn offs into gorgeous scenery

    While driving near Crater Lake a couple of years ago, I found a turn off which led me to this. I thought the scene was so awesome, I had to take a picture. You will find many turn offs in this particular area where folks park their cars to go fishing, hiking, or whatever. They are dirt paths, so be careful not to go when it is raining or snowing....

  • The Three Sisters

    On the way around Bend, I saw this panoramic view of the Three Sisters.More photos and short description visit:http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/volc_images/north_america/three_sisters.html

  • Mill Creek Falls Scenic Area

    This is a hiking trail built by the Boise Cascade Corporation. There is beautiful scenery and two very nice waterfalls. One of them is pictured here. To reach Mill Creek Falls area, head north approximately 10 miles from Joseph Stewart State Park. Just past milepost 423 before reaching Prospect itself, watch for a turnoff to the right marked Mill...

  • My family wheat ranch

    This is so far off the beaten path that as I was growing up numerous would-be vistors from Pendleton, only 18 miles away, got lost.I'm just throwing this in for fun, as I'm pretty sure that there would be very, very few tourists interested in vising.Located on Blanchet Lane (my family name) in Coombs Canyon in Umatilla County, Oregon.

  • View from Maryhill Museum of Art

    Maryhill Museum, also a "must see" activity, however it is so far off Oregon's beaten path it is actually in Washington, just across a bridge on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River with Oregon on the other side.I'm including here a view of the Columbia River and Oregon from Maryhill.It is truly a world class museum in an unexpected spot. See...

  • Sand Sculptures: There are a...

    Sand Sculptures: There are a series of contests held around the US for sand sculpting. This pic happens to be taken at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, Oregon. If you have the chance check it out, there are some amazing works of art in sand. I will try and find the schedule for when and where these take place. My friend Dave took...


    Oregon's first city - Oregon City - ws sited at the base of these falls along the Willamette River. This served as a transhipment point for river traffic moving up and down the Willamette Valley. Along the river are huge forestry-related mills. There are roadside observation sites to observe waters fall - going eastbound along I-205 high above the...


    Just an hour east of Portland, a few minutes south off the busy US 26, in the front ranges of the Cascades, the Salmon River - typical of many such rivers flowing out of the Cascades - carves a deep canyon through pristine wilderness. The ruggedness of the terrain kept the loggers at bay long enough to have the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness...

  • The Flying M Ranch

    The Flying M Ranch is a nice place for a day out. There is a small airstrip there if you happen to have your own plane; plenty of parking for cars if you don't. They raise buffalo and horses there. The horses can be hired for rides in the surrounding hills. The buffalo can be eaten in the restaurant. Their website is here.


    In northeastern Oregon, some of the largest area of alpine-like terrain is to be found. The Wallowa Mountains lie mostly within the Federally protected Eagle Cap Wilderness Area. Possibilities for long wilderness sojourns here exist. Many backpack, while horses let horses take in the heavy stuff. Most people use the trailhead at 4700 ft high...


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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.
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