Off the Beaten Path | Oregon
Oregon is a state full of natural wonders and amazing outdoor spaces. Throughout the state you will find interesting places to visit. It is a state full of amazing spots to camp, hike, swim and enjoy all sorts of outdoor recreation. Here are just a few of the amazing spots and sights that Oregon has to offer its residents and visitors.
Three Sisters Wilderness
This wilderness area is one of the more popular areas in Oregon. Three Sisters is located in the Deschutes and the Willamette National Forests. There are 242,000 acres of wilderness in Three Sisters, with 260 miles of trails, including 40 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Much of the wilderness area is composed of dense forest. Three Sisters Wilderness Area is a great destination for hiking, wilderness camping and much more.
Located near the California border and the foothills of the Siskiyou and Cascade Ranges. Ashland is best known for the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has an eight and a half month season, which shows eleven plays plus many other activities. Attendance at the Festival can reach over 400,000. Visitors to Ashland also have the opportunity to enjoy the Ashland Independent Film Festival in April or attend the Food and Wine Classic in November. Ashland is also home to Southern Oregon's first park, Lithia Park, which covers 93 acres right off the downtown plaza. Lithia Park has Japanese Gardens, tennis courts, duck ponds and much more.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
The awesome sand dunes at Oregon Dunes are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. The dunes stretch from Florence to Coos Bay and stand 500 feet above sea level. Visitors to the dunes can enjoy lots of off-highway vehicle riding, as well as hiking, fishing, horseback riding, canoeing and camping. As visitors wander to the dunes they can come upon dense tree islands, wetlands and even lakes. Those visitors that enjoy water sports can have fun sailing, water-skiing, swimming and even scuba diving on the over 30 lakes and streams in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
A coastal mountain range in southwestern Oregon, the Siskiyous are a part of the Klamath Mountains. They are some of the wildest mountains in the region, and even the weather is wild. The western canyons in the Siskiyous Mountains can get up to 100 inches of rain in the winter. Much of the Siskiyous Mountains are located within the Rogue River-Siskiyous and Klamath National Forests. In addition, the Pacific Crest Trail follows a portion of the range's ridge. Visitors can enjoy all sorts of recreation including wilderness camping, fishing, hiking , white water rafting and cross-country and downhill skiing in the winter.
Coos Bay is an important port city on the southern coast of Oregon, and it is also the largest city on the Oregon Coast. The city is full of museums, art galleries, live theater and even festivals. In addition, visitors can enjoy golfing, sailing, canoeing, scuba diving, fishing and more at the area's nearby parks: Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Areas State Park, Cape Arago State Park. Coos Bay is also a great destination for crabbing and clamming, which are allowed year-round. Storm and whale watching are also fun activities that visitors can enjoy at Coos Bay.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake is one of the most unique areas in the country. Most of the year the park is covered in snow -- the summertime window is very brief, lasting only from July to October. During the short summer, visitors can enjoy the Rim Drive, hiking, camping, fishing, swimming in the lake and even take a boat tour of the lake. The park offers interpretive programs where visitors can learn about the history of the park and the very interesting volcanic past of the lake. During the long winter, which lasts from October to July, the Rim Drive is mostly closed, but visitors can still enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the trails.
This is a very popular resort town on the northern coast of Oregon. The delightful little town of Cannon Beach is just west of Highway 101, and its downtown area is full of relaxing little shops, galleries and more. Visitors to Cannon Beach will probably spend most of their time on the beautiful sand beach. Haystack Rock is the most recognizable sight in the town, as it is the large haystack-shaped rock standing in the water just off the beach. During low tide, visitors can enjoy exploring the amazing tide pools created by the rock formations around Haystack Rock. Visitors to the beach can also participate in sand sculpting, or horseback riding on the beach, and even flying a kite. When visitors need a break from the beach they can explore the rainforest that stretches right down to the beach.