These 8 Oregon Hiking Trails Lead To Some Incredible Pieces Of History
Oregon may only have been a state since 1859, but the history of its lands dates back millions of years. From otherworldly geological wonders, to historic pioneer towns, the Beaver State is one of the most history rich places in the country. These 8 hiking trails will let you stretch your legs and learn something new about our state. Check them out:
1. Painted Cove Trail (Mitchell)
Located in the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, this short and sweet path will give you a tour of some otherworldly scenery. The wooden boardwalk winds around a vibrant red clay hill, offering a close encounter with a geologic wonder.
Distance: 0.3 miles
2. Champoeg Loop Hike (Saint Paul)
This historic park was once the bustling pioneer town of Champoeg. In 1843, Oregon's first provisional government was formed here by a historic vote. The gentle loop hike will lead you through all that remains of this town, offering a charming glimpse into a bygone era. On the way, look out for the Pioneer Mother’s Memorial Cabin, Manson Barn, and a series of historic markers.
Distance: 3.4 miles
3. Tillamook Head Hike (Seaside)
Walk in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea on this stunning hike. The famous explorers crossed this headland back in 1806 to buy blubber from Native Americans at Cannon Beach. Today, the trail still offers pristine views of the ocean and the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.
Distance: 3.6 miles
5. Redmond Caves (Redmond)
The Redmond Caves are a group of lava tubes originally formed by flowing lava around 80,000 years ago. A short 0.5-mile hike will take you around the area and let you explore these fascinating natural wonders.
Distance: 0.5 miles
7. Island in Time Trail (Kimberly)
If you've ever wanted to travel back in time to a prehistoric land, you will love the Island in Time Trail. Located in the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, this scenic trail takes you into a world of turquoise rock formations. Along the way, watch out for interpretive panels and the replicas of fossils that have been embedded into the rock.
Distance: 1.2 miles
6. Oregon Trail Interpretive Center (Baker City)
This historic park is home to more than 4 miles of incredible hiking trails. While there are many scenic delights to be enjoyed throughout the park, one highlight you simply can't miss is the one mile of well-preserved Oregon Trail wagon ruts. You can take Flagstaff Hill Loop and the Panorama Point Trail to access the ruts.
7. Geologic Time Trail (Fossil)
Another fascinating hike located in the John Day Fossil Beds, the Geologic Time Trail provides an amazing view of the Clarno Palisades. These rocky spires were formed 54-40 million years ago by ancient mudflows called "lahars". Signs along the trail will take you through the region's geologic history.
Distance: 1.3 miles
8. Jawbone Flats Hike (Lyons)
Located in the Opal Creek Wilderness area, the Jawbone Flats Hike leads to a historic mining town. Rusting vehicles, old mining equipment, and an ore mill are just a few of the intriguing artifacts that you will uncover on the way to your destination.
Distance: 6.6 miles
Want to check out more hikes in the Beaver State? Take a look at our previous article:
11 Amazing Oregon Hikes Under 3 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love.
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