Outdoor Family Fun

June 27, 2012 (Updated June 3, 2016)

Summer is a great time to try something new with the family, and Oregon has no end of outdoor fun. Get outside and learn something about Oregon, our sea life, camping, wetlands or the local food movement. You’ll probably learn something about yourself too!

Dig it: Learn to crab or clam in Siletz Bay in Lincoln City with a free clinic from the Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau. What’s more satisfying than catching your own dinner? Clinics in July and August include overviews of crab or clam basics, after which participants head for the water. Visit www.oregoncoast.org for details.

Saddle up: Take a guided horseback ride in the Mt. Hood National Forest with the folks at Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Ski Bowl. They have the only guided trail rides in the national forest and horses for all ability levels. Rides wind through gorgeous old growth forests with tremendous views of the 11,240-foot peak. Overnight and groups trips are available too.

Pitch in: If you’d like to introduce the kids to camping, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department can lend a hand. Their “Let’s Go Camping” program offers fun overnight trips and provides all the gear as well as hands-on lessons for beginning campers. Nature hikes, tent setup, safety, campfire making and wildlife chats are all part of the fun. Download the brochure and view trip dates here or watch a video here.

Paddle forward: Get some insight into wetland wildlife with Scappoose Bay Kayaking near Portland. The company offers various tours, including a wetland tour of Scappoose Bay, a tour of Warrior Rock Lighthouse and a nocturnal paddle that starts at sunset. You’ll see eagles, herons and all kinds of migratory birds. All equipment is included.

Tasting tour: Raising a tribe of locavores? You and your family might enjoy a farm and ranch tour with The Well Traveled Fork in Bend. Visit an organic vegetable farm, a ranch that humanely raises sheep, beef or pork, free-range chickens and an alpaca farm. The Well Traveled Fork offers family cooking classes too.

Find more outdoor family fun ideas in Oregon.

About The

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.