Winter Getaways to Help You Thrive

November 22, 2015 (Updated May 25, 2017)


It’s a Pacific Northwest wonderland out there, and we want you to make the most of it.

That’s why Travel Oregon and Kaiser Permanente partnered up to share healthy and fun ideas for quick adventures — right in our own backyard — to help you thrive.

Research shows outdoor play leads to many physical and cognitive benefits, from boosting immune system markers and reducing stress to better performance in the classroom. Preventive care is a critical component of health and well-being. And, in our opinion, there’s no better place to work on your health than Oregon’s beautiful and vast outdoors.

Photo credit: Tyler Roemer

7 Winter Hikes

If you’ve never hiked in Oregon in winter, here’s what you’re missing: the drama of rain-flushed waterfalls; seabirds hanging on the updraft of a cliff’s edge; views of the ocean’s stormy moods; elk and deer browsing on the wintery landscape. In Oregon, there’s a route for every hiker, including many accessible trails. Take advantage of the less-crowded shoulder season and add these seven trails to your winter hiking list. You’ll be glad you did.

Photo credit: NPS

48 Hours in Kid-Approved Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls is best known, perhaps, as a gateway to Crater Lake National Park. The geography surrounding this Southern Oregon community ranges from desert to forest to lakeside. It’s also on the migration path of hundreds of bird species, everything from magnificent bald eagles to waterfowl. And in the winter months, you get all of the above with a sparkling blanket of snow to top it off. Ready to make a family weekend of it? Here’s how.

Video credit: Russ Roca

Ride the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway

The Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway captures the best of the northern Willamette Valley, from friendly downtowns to fertile farmlands and lush natural areas. Set in the heart of Washington County in Greater Portland, the bikeway runs point-to-point over 50 miles and includes the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. Choose your own section to ride, as plenty of transit connections, rest stops and breathtaking views abound.

Photo credit: Dave Bassett

Sweet Spots for Sledding and Tubing

Sledding and tubing are guaranteed ways to have a blast in the snow. And Oregon has a lot of family-friendly places to ride. We’re stoked for this winter’s forecast, which calls for decent conditions across the state. Catch a thrill on any of these downhill slopes, be it an off-the-beaten path or a nighttime adventure with laser lights and music.

Photo credit: Teacup Lake Nordic Club

Cross-country Ski Mt. Hood

While the excitement of steeps, bumps and tree skiing are a welcome annual adrenaline rush, cross-country skiing brings a slower, more social experience that can’t be beat. In the Mt. Hood area, there are cross-country ski trails for all levels, from beginner to expert, along seasonal mountain bike trails or lakeside. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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