March brings the beginning of the southward movement of many migratory land birds through Oregon and as an avid birder I wanted to share the many birding opportunities that can be found in throughout our state. The Oregon Cascade Birding Trail (OCBT) is a self-guided auto tour highlighting nearly 200 prime birding destinations designed to showcase the region's birds and spectacular scenery. This blog will focus on the Mt Hood Loop of the Oregon Cascade Birding Trail. Let's get settled first before we begin our birding adventure.
There are Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member inns all along the OCBT where you can begin your trek with a belly full of a hearty breakfast and a brain full of local knowledge.
Check into the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast with magnificent views of Mt. Hood. Pick the brain of the innkeeper who always has the binoculars ready to view the birds at the backyard feedes. Located between the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood whose gardens have been recognized as a National Wildlife Backyard Habitat
The Mt. Hood Loop of the OCBT rises from the Columbia River to Mt. Hood, the highest point in Oregon, and combines some of the best of the region's birding with legendary Oregon scenery. This loop traverses the Columbia River National Scenic Area and the Mt. Hood National Forest and visits 19 birding sites.
Lewis and Clark traveled the Columbia Gorge corridor. The Lewis' Woodpecker, Clark's Nutcracker and Clark's Grebe were named in their honor. Many species of waterfowl and raptors including the Bald Eagle inhabit the river and further up the mountain you'll observe woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and so many more.
One of my favorite hikes, and I have many, is the Tamanawas Falls trail. The falls are amazing at 100 feet high and 40 feet wide. The trailhead footbridge is the midpoint of a 8-mile stretch of the East Fork of the Hood Riverhosting nesting Harlequin Ducks. A riparian habitat and mature mixed-conifer forest surrounds the trail to the falls.
After you've explored the trails on the north side of Mt. Hood head on around to the south and western flanks where the Sandy and Zig Zag Rivers lead you past Trillium Lake and through Wildwood Recreation Area home to the elusive Pileated Woodpecker.
Bring out the hiking boots and binoculars, pack your bags. Get to know our State like a local. Experience romantic getaways, historic treasures, and tucked away rustic retreats. Whether your trip is for a quiet escape to a quaint rural or coastal town, for a World Class City experience or for a new spin on business travel, you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance by staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.