One of the best things about living in or visiting Oregon is the ability to find a real adventure by just stepping out the front door. I have found nature in its purest form as I’ve hiked, cycled and kayaked around this beautiful state. Oregonians not only take great pride in the land that surrounds them, but take ownership in its preservation.
The first time I picked up National Geographic’s Central Cascades Geotourism Mapguide, I knew little about the growing trend of geotourism. Defined as “tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents,” geotourism and Oregon seem to be a natural pair. As I marveled at all the very cool places on the map, I also wondered how I would manage to pick a starting point – there are so many great options! Learn more about the Geotourism Project.
With the help of the Mapguide, I’ve decided on this weekend’s adventure: a visit to the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, designated as one of Scenic America’s 10 most important byways in the nation. Interpretive panels, trails and viewpoints abound along this historic highway, offering plenty of opportunities to view fall’s bright red, orange and yellow leaves at the upper elevations.
Beyond opening my eyes to geotourism, this map has reminded me that it’s been too long since my last trip to Oakridge. On my way to the Cascade Lakes Byway, I plan to take advantage of their great mountain biking trails. And no trip to Oakridge would be complete without a visit to the local Brewer’s Union Local 180.
See you on the road!
-Cari S., Travel Lane County Adventure Specialist
Pick up a copy of National Geographic’s Central Cascades Geotourism Mapguide at the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure Center.