If you’re on the hunt for outdoor family adventures that cater to kids of all ages and interests, we’re here to put Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory on your radar.

Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is the epitome of nature’s playground in the Beaver State. It’s overflowing with mild- to high-energy hiking trails, gripping mountain biking routes, breathtaking kayaking tours, and awesome wildlife viewing opportunities.

Did we mention these spots are still under the radar, too? So expect fewer crowds and more fun for your whole family.

Keep reading for eight adventures that’ll make for an unforgettable summer.

For the low-key adventurers who prefer to take it easy

Wildwood Recreation Site

Wildwood Recreation Site is a family adventure that’s as educational as it is entertaining. Kids will love the Cascade Streamwatch Trail, where they can peek through a fish viewing window to see underwater creatures up close, while the Wetlands Trail is great for wildlife spotting opportunities that’ll get kids excited about nature.

  • Who will have a blast: Kids of all ages will get a kick out of exploring all that nature offers, especially families with young children. Not only are both trails fully accessible and suitable for strollers, but the site also has restrooms and ample parking to make it convenient for parents with little ones in tow.
  • How to make the most of your visit: Pack a lunch and some snacks to fuel up before tackling more outdoor activities at one of the site’s many picnic areas.
  • What kids will absolutely love: On warmer days, water babies will appreciate trying their hand at fishing, or swimming on the Salmon River.

Luscher Farm

Luscher Farm is a treasure trove of interactive, outdoor experiences that’ll keep kids occupied for hours, from a small greenhouse to ample open spaces for running and play. But our favorite activity is the children’s garden, where tiny gardeners can learn about harvesting veggies and even sow their own seeds. Map out your visit during one of many kids’ classes offered on site for those ages six and up, like a hands-on cooking class or a build-your-own gnome or fairy garden workshop.

  • Who will have a blast: Luscher Farm is perfect for animal lovers as young as one and as old as 12, offering them the chance to learn about plants and animals at every turn.
  • How to make the most of your visit: Don’t miss the “Barnyard Tales” storytelling sessions for children five and under. They’ll hear engaging tales and try fun, farm-themed activities.
  • What kids will absolutely love: For more hands-on experiences, head to the chicken coop where curious kids can meet pet chickens and meet roosters, chuckers, and owls.

Molalla River State Park

Molalla River State Park offers a range of activities that’ll get your whole clan back to nature, including birding, fishing, and boating along the riverbanks. Make a game out of your adventure by challenging your tiny birdwatchers to find waterfowls, wading birds, or blue heron rookeries along your excursion.

  • Who will have a blast: Families with kids of all ages looking for a day of outdoor exploration and fun. Plus, furry friends can tag along, thanks to a designated pet exercise area where they can play off leash.
  • How to make the most of your visit: For a unique experience that the kids won’t ever forget, opt for a ferry ride across the Willamette River to reach the state park. Fun fact: It’s one of three remaining ferries left on the Willamette!
  • What kids will absolutely love: The Pond Loop Trail is a favorite among families; it’s easy to complete and offers cool sights and sounds of native birds.

Boardman Wetlands Nature Park

With over five acres of exploration, the Boardman Wetlands Nature Park has loads for little explorers to do. Take a walk on the half-mile boardwalk trail loop (that’s stroller-friendly, might we add) to see one-of-a-kind sights of the surrounding wetlands and its diverse wildlife. For an educational spin, head to the canvas-covered, outdoor classroom that’ll give young nature enthusiasts a chance to learn about local ecology, the wetlands, and wildlife from the experts.

  • Who will have a blast: Wildlife aficionados who’ll be pumped to get a firsthand look at ducks, geese, beavers, and other native species.
  • How to make the most of your visit: If kids aren’t worn out by the boardwalk, let them go wild at the brand new, nature play area that has several slides and wood-inspired structures for climbing.
  • What kids will absolutely love: Transform your trip into a game of “I spy” with this free, downloadable scavenger hunt guide that’ll test your wetlands wanderer in finding 15 different insects, trees, amphibians, and more.

TRACK Trails

Spanning across the lush Estacada region in Oregon, the TRACK Trails are a hiking family’s dream. These specially-designed trails are catered to kids, like Eagle Fern Park, Metzler Park, and Timber Park, and turn a simple hike into a scavenger hunt. Each park features interactive brochures to choose from, fully loaded with facts about local animals, plants, and the region’s history. Plus, little legs can rightfully earn bragging rights for accomplishing these 0.33- to 0.55-mile paths all on their own.

  • Who will have a blast: Mini hikers who are ready to get those steps in—without mom or dad’s help!
  • How to make the most of your visit: Look for the TRACK Trail signs for interesting facts and activities along the way.
  • What kids will absolutely love: Not only will kids feel accomplished for completing a hike, but they can earn prizes along the way. Register each of your TRACK Trail adventures to gain a virtual prize and win an awesome surprise in the mail.

For the nature trekkers who enjoy moderate-level excursions

Molalla River Corridor Recreation Area

Not in the mood for a challenging hike that may or may not end up with you carrying your kiddo halfway through? The Molalla River Corridor Recreation is calling your name. Head on a scenic drive along the river to take in awesome views and spot all sorts of wildlife from roadside viewpoints, such as waterfowl, small mammals, and maybe even some reptiles and amphibians.

  • Who will have a blast: This day trip is perfect for the whole family, offering a mix of leisurely activities and heart-pumping adventures, like hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.
  • How to make the most of your visit: Extend your stay with an overnight camping trip that’s fully equipped with tent pads, campfire rings, barbecue grills, picnic tables, and incredible views of the river.
  • What kids will absolutely love: Along the banks of the Molalla River, keep an eye out (no pun intended, friends) for Basalt Eye, a remarkable sunburst-shaped rock formation that resembles a giant eye!

Willamette Water Trail

Accessible from Oregon City’s vibrant downtown, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and Milwaukie, the Willamette Water Trail is a water recreation hub that’ll help your crew burn off some energy—thanks to its small taste of a river current! Choose from paddling, canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding to enjoy stunning scenery, spot wildlife, and learn about the river’s ecology.

  • Who will have a blast: Adrenaline junkies and nature lovers seeking unforgettable, aquatic adventures.
  • How to make the most of your visit: Dive into the Willamette River with guided tours by eNRG Kayaking, Alder Creek Kayak, and REI tours. Don’t forget to bring snacks, sunscreen, and plenty of water!
  • What kids will absolutely love: How many can say they’ve kayaked their way to the second largest waterfall in the U.S.? With eNRG Kayaking, you can do exactly that! The two-mile tour will take you through amazing views of the historic Oregon Trail, all the way to Willamette Falls.

For the thrill seekers who love blood-pumping escapades

Mountain Biking

Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is a paradise for seasoned mountain bikers and adventurous families alike. With a variety of trails suitable for all skill levels (yes, that includes beginners, too), you can cross off this outdoor venture from your bucket list. Take on the challenge of the nationally-recognized Sandy Ridge Trail System, which includes a family-friendly trail. For a thrilling yet breathtaking experience that requires less uphill pedaling and more downhill fun, try the lift-assisted alpine trails at Timberline Bike Park.

  • Who will have a blast: Tweens and teens who aren’t scared of a little speed.
  • How to make the most of your visit: Rent bikes and gear if you don’t have your own, and take advantage of Timberline Bike Park’s discounted youth tickets.
  • What kids will absolutely love: At the Timberline Bike Park, young bikers can get some practice in the skills park and trail network, mastering natural elements, constructed features, and jump lines.

Now that you have a list of go-to activities in Mt. Hood Territory that’ll keep everyone in the family happy (no matter their skill level!), it’s time to start planning your next road trip. Head to mthoodterritory.com to discover lodging accommodations, top restaurants, and more things to do!

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