View of the Wild & Scenic Clackamas River with green trees, blue river and a bridge in distance in Oregon's Mount Hood Territory

National Trails & Wild and Scenic Rivers Acts 50th Anniversaries

Molly Johnson | 01/30/2018 | Estacada, Government Camp, North Clackamas, Trails, Water Play

Moss covered rocks withe the Zigzag River flowing through them and forest on either side on the Pioneer Bridle Trail.

As if 50th Anniversaries aren't special enough, 2018 brings with it two 50th Anniversaries of wildly important environmental protections. One being the passage of the National Trails Act and the other being the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, both originally passed in 1968. The National Trails Act segmented the trails down by type: Scenic Trails, Historic Trails and Recreation Trails and the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act protects 12,734 miles of the 3.6 million miles of streams in the United States. We are incredibly lucky here in Mt. Hood Territory that these acts have protected trails and rivers for so long because we have a trail or river protected in every category! So make 2018 your biggest adventure year yet and book your trip to Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory to experience our truly spectacular trails and rivers. Use our #omht hashtag when documenting your experiences and follow #findyourtrail as well to see other outdoor lovers excursions. 

1. Scenic Trail - Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail runs from Mexico to Canada including the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges of the United States.The section that runs through Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory runs along the Western side of the Mt. Hood National Forest. The views of immaculate wilderness, waterfalls, rivers and wildflowers are epic. Plus you can do some introspective soul searching on a landscape like this. If you don't believe me just ask Cheryl Strayed, who's journey along the PCT is documented in her wildly popular book and subsequent film Wild, which highlights this beast of a trail and the power of human growth when one connects with the outdoors.
Hikers on Pacific Crest trail with forest on left and ravine on right with Mt. Hood framed in distance in Mt. Hood Territory
2. Historic Trail - Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail was the largest migration in American history that lead thousands of families across the country starting in 1843 on a quest to start a new life in Oregon. The journey was treacherous and many lost belongings, animals, money and even their lives. Once here they made their way up and over the Barlow Pass on Mt. Hood encountering now legendary sites like the Pioneer Woman's Grave, Tollgate and possibly the most difficult part: the descent of a 60% grade at Laurel Hill. Eventually they completed the trail at what became known as the Abernethy Green in Oregon City, which has now become the Official End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center & Museum.
B&W photo of Historic Oreogn trail Interpretive sign at Laurel Hill off Hwy 26 with view of highway, Mt. Hood and forest
3. Recreation Trail - Salmon River Trail
The Salmon River Trails designation of a Recreation Trail is due in large part to its exceptional terrain for trail running. The beginning portion of the trail near ZigZag outside of Government Camp is very walk-able though and follows along the Salmon River with dazzling views of the flowing water and forested cliffs. Once you reach the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness boundary the elevation starts to make some serious gains, roughly 1,000 feet all told, making it ideal for trail running or higher difficulty hike while still having plenty of viewpoints to take it all in.
Two day hikers with backpacks sitting on log watching the Salmon River as it rolls along in Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory
4. Wild & Scenic River Systems Designation - Clackamas River
The Wild & Scenic Clackamas River in Mt. Hood Territory is one of the most popular rivers in the state because of its endless possibilities for recreation. Activities like fishing, kayaking, boating, mountain biking, camping, biking and hiking on the trails that run along the Clackamas are really wonderful and come with great views. There is a 100-foot waterfall in the lower part of the designation, diverse wildlife and miles of old-growth trees showcasing vibrant greenery all around.
View from above Wild & Scenic Clackamas River with pristine blue water, a whitewater rapid, and vibrant green forest trees

Molly Johnson grew up in Mt. Hood Territory and loves getting to write content inspiring others to visit her beloved home. She is currently generating content for and for the #omht Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest channels. 

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