2018 marked the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail and the more than 400,000 people who embarked on the months long journey to make Oregon their home, and the newest addition to the Mt. Hood Territory Heritage Trail app lets you explore the Oregon Trail without having to ford any rivers.
As anyone who grew up playing the Oregon Trail game like me knows, the journey was fraught with numerous perils. You can hear the stories of pioneers who made that journey, and the important milestones along the Barlow Road, which was the final stretch of that difficult journey.
The Mt. Hood Territory Heritage Trail App gives travelers who enjoy learning the history of a place the chance to explore and learn about those places and the people behind them. The latest update specifically calls out highlights along the Oregon Trail that you can visit to this day. The app guides visitors to locations like Jonsrud Viewpoint, which is now known for offering one of the best photo ops of Mt. Hood around. From there you can also see the path pioneers and their wagons took over the imposing mountain. Also on the trail is Laurel Hill, which was described by many of the pioneers who braved the trail as the most difficult part of the journey. Wagons would descend a 60% grade with the help of ropes and chains attached to trees to slow the descent.
The experience offered by the Heritage Trail App is an immersive one, giving explorers the chance to not only hear those stories, but find new locations they didn't know about, while also seeing images of these sites today and from the past. From the somber tale at the Pioneer Woman's Grave to the relief weary pioneers felt when they first saw Philip Foster Farm, there are numerous stories to hear.