5 Great Outdoor Activities in Oregon
Oregon is renowned for its natural beauty and outdoorsy culture. Between the Cascades, the Oregon Coast and the Columbia River, there's no shortage of great hikes, camping, and climbing, not to mention the full gamut of winter, water, and wind sports.
It's no surprise that a thriving outdoor industry has emerged here. We're thrilled to be a part of it and we love to take advantage of the raw splendor whenever we can.
In fact, back in 2000 I set out to prove just how many unique activities are to be had in close proximity to the Portland area through my own Oregon-style marathon. Over the course of 12 hours, I went snowboarding, rock climbing, trail running, kayaking and surfing - starting on Mount Hood and ending at the beach.
To that end, I wanted to share just a handful of my favorite outdoor activities in Oregon - and hopefully find out about a few more opportunities to explore in the comments section (hint hint)!
Nestled in the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls plummets 620 feet before flowing out to the Columbia. That makes it the tallest waterfall in Oregon - and the second tallest in the U.S.
Multnomah Falls is split into two-tiers. A footbridge over the lower falls is just a brief walk, while a viewpoint at the top of the falls is accessible by an uphill but brief 1.3-mile hike.
Multnomah Falls are located just 30 miles east of Portland, about a 30-minute drive on I-84 East.
Further down the Gorge and a short jaunt south is majestic Mount Hood. Snow covered and towering 11,239 feet above sea level, the dormant volcano is home to twelve glaciers and six ski areas.
Mount Hood caters to skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping and climbing. Its awe-inspiring beauty and proximity to Portland make it a popular destination year-round.
The Sandy River flows out of Reid Glacier on Mount Hood and eventually feeds into the Columbia near Troutdale. On hot summer days, there's nothing like a quick plunge into the glacial river waters to keep cool.
Starting in late summer, the Sandy River becomes host to a seemingly never-ending procession of inner-tubers and rafters. It's ideal for soaking up the sun, floating leisurely downstream, or going on a white-water rafting adventure.
The Oregon Coast is one of the most diverse coastlines in the U.S. Terrain varies from sea-bound stacks in the north to a forested central coastline and sand dunes in the south.
The coast offers an equally wide range of activities, including surfing, kayaking, dune-buggying, hiking, scuba diving, sandboarding, and kiting. Seaside towns provide lodging and quaint shops, but they hardly compete with the coast itself.
Cannon Beach, the Newport Aquarium and the Oregon Dunes south of Florence are all worth checking out on a trip down the Oregon Coast.
Ever wanted to walk behind a waterfall? The Trail of Ten Falls along Silver Creek carves behind several that plunge from shelves of rock overhead.
True to its name, a total of ten waterfalls lie along this 8.7 mile loop. Half of them are over 100 feet high. Few hikes can match the sheer gorgeousness of Silver Falls - and even fewer also offer such a low degree of difficulty.
Silver Falls is just 20 miles east-southeast of Salem, Oregon.
What are some of your favorite outdoor activities in Oregon? Any hidden gems I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
The Outdoor Retailer's Summer Market show was held last week in Salt Lake City, Utah and was attended by thousands of industry professionals. We were in attendance along with our subsidiary, The EnGn. The show is not only a great place to network and look at all of the great products coming from our favorite outdoor and sporting goods brands, but also to learn about the economic benefits of the outdoor industry. Here is what we learned:
- 6.1 million American jobs
- $646 billion in outdoor recreation spending each year
- $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue
- $39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue
Outdoor Recreation is Big Business: The State of the Outdoor Industry
Everything grows outside, including jobs and the economy.
Much has changed since 2006 when the Outdoor Industry Association commissioned the first economic study on outdoor recreation in the United States. The Great Recession radically altered consumer spending habits, unemployment reached its highest level in decades, and federal and state deficits resulted in massive spending cuts.
Despite the uncertainty, more than 140 million Americans make outdoor recreation a priority in their daily lives, proving it with their wallets by putting $646 billion of their hard-earned dollars right back into the economy. Even better, this spending directly results in highly sought-after jobs for 6.1 million Americans.
At the core of the outdoor recreation economy is the outdoor consumer, whose diverse interests fuel a robust and innovative industry. Today's outdoor lovers aren't confined to traditional demographics or activity segments. They seek meaningful outdoor experiences in their backyards and in the backcountry. They are all genders, ages, shapes, sizes, ethnicities and income levels. They live throughout America, and they view outdoor recreation as an essential part of their daily lives. They fill their garages with bicycles, dirt bikes, backpacks, boats, skis, tents, hunting rifles and fishing gear. This is redefining the outdoor industry, an evolution that is evident in the growth of sales and jobs since 2006.
In short, outdoor recreation is a growing and diverse economic super sector that is a vital cornerstone of successful communities that cannot be ignored. Most importantly, outdoor recreation is no logner a "nice to have," it is now a "must have" as leaders across the country recognize the undeniable economic, social and health benefits of outdoor recreation.
An Economy as Vast and Powerful as the Great Outdoors
What drives the outdoor recreation economy?
The outdoor recreation economy thrives when Americans spend their hard-earned dollars in pursuit of outdoor recreation. This spending occurs in two forms: the purchase of gear and vehicles, and dollars spent on trips and travel.
Gear purchases include anything for outdoor recreation, such as outdoor apparel and footwear, bicycles, skis, fishing waders, rifles and backpacks. Vehicle purchases include vehicles and accessories used only for outdoor recreation, such as boats, motorcycles, RVs, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.
The outdoor recreation economy grows long after consumers purchase outdoor gear and vehicles. They spend money on day and overnight trips, and on travel-related expenses such as airfares, rental cars, lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, groceries, gasoline and souvenirs. They pay for river guides and outfitters, lift tickets and ski lessons, entrance fees, licenses and much more. Their spending supports innumerable small business owners. And they visit recreation areas that are cared for by land managers, park rangers, NGOs and volunteers.
This spending is the outdoor recreation economy - $646 billion in spending that each year supports 6.1 million direct jobs and $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue.
Putting America to Work
America is globally recognized as the leader in outdoor recreation. Advancements in technical apparel, footwear and equipment for outdoor activities are driving innovation and entreprenuerism, while creating a demand for highly skilled workers in areas like technology, product design, manufacturing, sustainability and global commerce.
A tremendous diversity of career opportunities exists beyond product-related jobs. When Americans play outside during day outings and overnight trips, their spending directly supports professionals like guides and outfitters, lodging operators, park managers and rangers, concessionaires, small business owners and many more.
In total, 6.1 million American livelihoods directly depend on outdoor recreation, making it a critical economic sector in the United States.
To read the full report, click here.
By: Kevin Servino
Aligning Your Personal & Professional Interests
Over the last two years I have received lots of emails and calls from people seeking advice on how to enter into the Outdoor, Sporting Goods or Action Sports industry. Most of these people either received my information from a friend in the industry, or simply found me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. First and foremost, my job is to market jobs to candidates, not candidates to jobs, though with an ageing workforce and a personal appreciation for diversity, I see a necessary shift for these industries to be more inclusive of enthusiasts from other industries vs. the exclusive attitude I currently see. Below are some tips for people interested in being noticed by companies and recruiters in the Outdoor, Sporting Goods or Actions Sports industry.
1. Dress for the job you want
If you are a CFO and a passionate climber, but have no industry experience and the picture of you on your LinkedIn page is of you in a business suit, you likely won’t be top of mind for a recruiter looking through their contacts for a job in the Outdoor industry. The image does not translate the interest, which is what many of my clients want. The professional skills will translate, but the personal interest will likely retain you in the company longer and allow you to assimilate into the culture easier. If you have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and have a picture of it, put it on your profile!
2. Express your interests
Listing your interests on your resume is typically not encouraged. If you are hoping to penetrate the Outdoor, Sporting Goods and Action Sports industry, this rule does not apply. If you are a passionate angler and have traveled across the world to fly fish, or played Division I college football put it on your resume. It makes my job, and the job of an internal recruiter easier to locate you. In addition, keep tabs on websites who promote the type of roles you want. Examples of websites include: www.outdoorindustryjobs.com, www.workinsports.com, http://careers.outdoorindustry.org/jobs, as well as several specific LinkedIn groups.
3. Reverse engineer your search
I met with a gentleman within the last year who was in-between jobs. He lived in China while working for Nike and speaks fluent Mandarin. When I looked at his resume I noticed there was no reference to Mandarin. He was shocked. I have worked on searches in China and Mandarin is one of the top search terms I look for. My advice for candidates interested in roles in the Outdoor, Sporting Goods, or Action Sports industry is to reverse engineer your resume by putting yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager or recruiter. What are the key words you would likely search for to fill your role? These could include terms like softgoods, hardgoods, names of key accounts you have called on…
4. Being in the right place at the right time
There are tons of groups on-line who cater to people who share a common interest. These include websites dedicated to running, climbing, hiking, fishing, skiing, etc. Get involved in those groups. Many of the professionals in the industry play in those areas. You may just be the hidden gem who forms a strong friendship with a key decision maker. Face time often beats resume time in this industry. Get involved and get noticed!