Kayaking on the Sandy River / Photo by Sam Drevo, eNRGKayaking.com

Adventurous Spirits: An Outdoor Playground

Abundant natural resources have drawn people to the Central Cascades for millennia, from many Native American tribes to Oregon Trail pioneers. The creative, can-do spirit early residents displayed in making a life here lives on as modern Cascadians explore new ways to live in harmony with each other and the land.

“When I came to the Columbia Gorge with my dad in the mid-1980s, the place was booming with windsurfers who had moved here for the steady winds. We were into sailing fast. Dad hypothesized that you could sail 40 knots in 10 knots of wind on a hydrofoil pulled by a big kite. Soon after, kiteboards were born."

—Cory Roesler, kiteboarding pioneer, Hood River, OR

Examples of Adventurous Spirits

  1. Mountain Bike Oregon

    The Oakridge area is known as the “Mountain Bike Capital of the Northwest” and serves as one of Oregon’s centers of outdoor recreation. Mountain biking is a big part of the culture in this area, which has an unparalleled system of mountain biking trails.  Ride among…

    Location: Greenwaters Park, Oakridge, OR 97463
  2. Crystal Mountain

    Crystal Mountain Resort is predominantly a ski area but this natural land has much to offer in the off-season months as well. In the summer the resort provides scenic chairlift rides, a mountaintop restaurant, hiking, fishing, tennis, and mountain biking. After Labor Day the ski…

  3. Wet Planet

    Wet Planet offers exciting rafting and kayaking trips on the White Salmon River, Wind River, Klickitat River, and Tieton River. Each river has spectacular scenery, wildlife, and things you couldn’t see if you weren’t traveling by way of the river. The White Salmon River, which is…

    Location: Husum, WA 98623
  4. Goat Rocks Wilderness — Gifford Pinchot National Forest

    Hike the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail through this rugged, high alpine terrain named for the many mountain goats that reside here.  A U.S. Wilderness Area first recognized in 1931, is actually part of an ancient volcano, eroded over time. Today, Gilbert Peak and Old…

    Location: Packwood , WA 98361
  5. Three Sisters Wilderness Area

    This is one of the most beautiful wilderness area in the Oregon Cascades, with the highest concentration of 10,000-foot-plus peaks in all the Cascade Mountain Range.  The wilderness area consists of a variety of ecotypes ranging from low-elevation old-growth Douglas-fir forests to subalpine and alpine ecosytems. …

    Location: Three Sisters Wilderness
National Geographic