A sampling of National Recreation Trails in the news or recently designated. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.
Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths.
Search all of Oregon's designated National Recreation Trails in the Online NRT Database
Rich Guadagno Memorial Trail (formerly known as the Baskett Butte Loop Trail and Observation Platform) is located in Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. This 1.75-mile backcountry trail offers visitors the opportunity to view unique native habitats and wildlife of the Willamette Valley, including the world's largest endangered Fender's Blue Butterfly population.
Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail — This trail was the first major paved highway in the Pacific Northwest and the first scenic highway constructed in the United States. The almost 11-mile converted road-trail features historic bridges, tunnels, and beautifully arched rock masonry walls. In addition to these unique features, the trail also provides recreational opportunities like biking and wildlife observation (designated 2002).
Ancient stump on the Old Growth ridge Trail
Lower Macleay Trail — Although less than a mile long, this urban trail offers a wealth of opportunities to interpret nature and history, while providing a safe haven for Portland residents. The trail connects to other area trails and serves as a major access route into Forest Park, the nation's largest forested urban park and home to a Douglas fir that is recognized as the tallest urban tree in the country. The trail also passes through Balch Canyon along Balch Creek, which supports a healthy aquatic habitat and is home to a population of native cutthroat trout. Given its resources and the setting it provides for a hike or leisurely stroll, it's easy to see why this trail has become known as an oasis in the city (designated 2004).
Old Growth Ridge Trail — The Bureau of Land Management's Whittaker Creek campground provides the trailhead for this scenic climb through huge Douglas ﬁr trees, as well as western hemlock, red cedar, red alder, and big leaf maple. The Whittaker Creek Recreation Site is nestled in the Coast Range of Oregon between Eugene and the Oregon coast, offering family camping in a riverside location along with hiking trails (designated 1994).
Row River Trail — This scenic rail-trail extends almost 16 miles and connects the City of Cottage Grove with Dorena Lake, Culp Creek, and the nearby Umpqua National Forest. The trail traverses the Row River, three historic covered bridges, and a variety of landscapes that include: urban areas, farmland, forests, and the Dorena Lake shoreline. In addition to opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, and horseback riding, this trail attracts tourist dollars and provides economic benefits for local communities. Given the recreational and economic benefits generated, and the numerous partners involved, this trail should be commended for what has been achieved through a diverse partnership (designated 2005).
High school runners use the Sarah Zigler Trail
Sarah Zigler Trail — The trail is managed by the Jacksonville Woodlands Association. See photos of the Sarah Zigler Trail from the 2004 National Recreation Trails photo contest.
Tillamook County Water Trail System — a countywide network of recreational water trails encompassing the area's abundant rivers, sloughs, and bays (designated 2012).
Woodpecker Loop Trail — This backcountry trail runs a little over a mile in the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge and takes visitors through a variety of natural settings. Beginning in an oak woodland habitat, the trail climbs slightly to an overlook that affords exceptional views of the Willamette Valley and Cascade Range, and then continues down into forests of Douglas fir and mature maples. With interpretive signage as a guide, this scenic trail is a prime location for wildlife observation and offers users a chance to see five species of woodpeckers (designated 2005).