The wonderful thing about travel in Oregon is that the opportunities to learn more about the northwest environment wait for the visitor at every turn.

That’s certainly true at this week’s Grant’s Getaway location that may also be one of the most overlooked sites in the area, yet provides varied and interesting environmental lessons about salmon and steelhead.

Certainly the price is right when Grant McOmie shows us the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s North Fork Nehalem Salmon Hatchery in Clatsop County.

The site is open daily, no reservations are required and a visit is absolutely free to the public.

Just ninety minutes from Portland, the hatchery offers activities that teach much about the fish and their ties with the aquatic environment.

You can stroll past rearing ponds that are brim full of baby salmon or trout; perhaps you will time your visit on “spawning day” when you can watch how the next generation of salmon is produced.

In addition, stroll down to the banks of North Fork of the Nehalem River and check out the unique Disabled Angler Platform where big fish are always on the bite for anglers who need a break.

Keep your eyes on the sky as well – bald eagles are known to soar overhead – and closer to ground, Roosevelt elk are often seen in the nearby forests.

Make tracks for the Trail to Umbrella Falls and enjoy a short, easy and scenic stroll to reach the namesake falls that offers a stunning moment along the river.

It’s a place that’s never twice the same and will provide lasting memories that may teach you something new about Oregon.

For more information:

Oregon Hatcheries

Eggs to Fry Program

NW Steelheaders

about author Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.

In this Grant’s Getaway

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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