Northwest Weekend Getaways

A West Linn Amplifier Production

For those of us car-less, broke teenagers, it might seem like there’s not much we can do during the summer but waste away our days playing Call of Duty and wandering aimlessly around Safeway. A spontaneous road trip is simply out of the question when you have no transportation or money to buy it with, so what can you do? Find vacations close to home, little patches of wooded serenity in suburbia, such as Maddox Woods. The peaceful riverside park, within walking distance of Bolton Primary School, offers a quiet place to enjoy a summer day, either over lunch with a friend or just by yourself, to contemplate the meaning of life. You’re likely to find solitude, however the area is not untouched; rustic benches have been carved out of the trunks of fallen trees and picnic tables dot the river’s edge. If the sun beats hot enough, you could even slip into the lazy current for a refreshing swim. So what are you waiting for? Grab a few sandwiches and sodas, maybe a friend or two, and discover the hidden beauty of Maddox Woods right in West Linn’s backyard.

Click here for directions from WLHS: http://goo.gl/maps/4ZlG

Approximate Gas Cost for round trip: $0-$10, it depends on where you’re coming from!

Source(s): West Linn resident Katie Moller

Photo Credit: all photos taken by Katie Moller

Deep in southern Oregon, near Cave Junction, lies a beautiful wooded landscape in a town called Takilma. Tall trees sway in the breeze, and nestled among their strong branches are human sized tree houses connected by a network of swinging suspension bridges. The scene seems like it was pulled from the pages of a fairy tale, but it is no fantasy. The Out’n’About Treesort (not far from the Oregon Caves) is a real life hotel in the trees, complete with spiral staircases twining up the thick trunks and over a linear mile of zip lining rope in the woods.

The tree houses are cozy yet well-appointed, and seeing that most houses aren’t equipped with a shower, there is a communal bathroom. Even the tree houses high up in the trees (35+ feet in the air; not for the acrophobic) have a sink, toilet and refrigerator, but for those who are more attached to the ground, they have many options of houses just 10 or 12 feet above the ground on stilts. Summer rate tree house prices, per night, range from $120 for a two person perch to $280 for a spacious four person house. There is a charge of $20 per additional person per night.

A full breakfast is provided each morning in the main lodge. Free entertainment on the grounds includes running back and forth on the suspension bridges, enjoying the Tarzan swing, dancing around on the outdoor stage, and hiking in the surrounding woods.

Activities that cost money are zip lining, horseback riding, and many classes on how to build your own tree house and other subjects. Nearby attractions include the Oregon Caves and white-water rafting.

Since the Treesort is very popular in the summer, booking at least a few weeks ahead is recommended. For more information on the Treesort facility and pretty much anything else you want to know, check out their website; http://www.treehouses.com/treehouse/treesort/home.html

Click here for directions from WLHS: http://goo.gl/maps/VavU

Estimated Gas Cost for round trip: $78

Source(s): http://www.treehouses.com/treehouse/treesort/home.html

Photo Credit: all photos taken by Claire Baumgardner

Enjoy Oregon’s great outdoors at one of the Columbia Gorge’s best hiking destinations: Eagle Creek. Starting at the Eagle Creek Trail and campground area, there are many different options of trails you could take, with gorgeous views and many waterfalls along the way. Some waterfalls are nothing more than a trickle, while others are significant markers on the trail such as Metlako, Punchbowl and Tunnel Falls. Round trip from the Eagle Creek Trailhead to Tunnel Falls is 12 miles, but the popular option is to hike from the trailhead to Punchbowl Falls and back- a less intimidating 3.8 miles.

Punchbowl Falls is a great swimming hole, or just a place to take off your hiking boots and dip your toes into the cool water, a rewarding climax to a difficult hike. Swimming may only be enjoyed on very hot days as the water is freezing cold. The Eagle Creek Trail and campground area can become very crowded on the weekends, perhaps due to all its great qualities, especially in the afternoons and on hot days. Arranging to go on a summer weekday in the morning can help avoid crowds.

Click here for directions from WLHS: http://goo.gl/maps/Vug3

Estimated Gas Cost for round trip: $34

Source(s): portlandhikers.org

Photo Credit: all pictures taken by M. Arthur Baumgardner

Ashland, Oregon is located in the far south of the state. It’s famous for its Shakespeare Festival which features a variety of plays from Shakespeare, to other examples of foreign playwrites, such as Anton Chekhov. Aside from seeing professional plays put on by actors from across the country, Ashland is a great place to shop. There are many locally owned stores, if you venture out of town you can enjoy the beauty nature offers in southwestern Oregon.

Difficulty: ✓✓✓

(Note: The only difficulty is the drive, it takes around five hours.)

Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/BhhS

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Website: http://www.osfashland.org/

City of Ashland, Oregon Website: http://www.ashland.or.us/

(Photo Credit: Lewis, Peterson, Halstead, The Great Towns of America

Located in eastern Oregon, the town of Fossil, Oregon places you in an old western film. Fossil is home to the Hancock Field Station, an OMSI camp that is located near the famous John Day Fossil Beds. The Hancock Field Station is also open for groups that would like to stay at the camp in the fall and spring. Located in the foothills of the Cascades, it is a popular spot for archaeology enthusiasts. Those interested in digging for artifacts can visit the John Day Fossil Beds, where many treasures can be found. At the county fairgrounds in the summer professional rodeos, bull riding and other western events can be observed. Golf tournaments are held at the nearby PGA-certified, six-hole Kinzua Hills golf course. The scenic John Day River runs through Wheeler County, known worldwide for its native salmon runs and exceptional bass fishing. Other popular activities include a regional bluegrass festival, a community-wide murder mystery, swimming, boating, hunting, photography and wildlife viewing. Fossil is located in the high desert, so bring clothes for extremely hot and cold weather.

Difficulty: ✓✓✓

(Note: Difficulty is because of drive and weather.)

Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/6vjc

Hancock Field Station Website: http://www.omsi.edu/for-educators/outdoor-science-school/hancock-field-station

Fossil, Oregon Website: http://www.cityoffossil.org/

(Photo Credit: Gollub Planning & Design, Wilson Ranches Retreat, Hisotrical Trails Cycling, Dudones)

San Juan Island, Washington is located in the Puget Sound of Washington, between Bellingham, WA, and Victoria, British Columbia. On the island, foxes are abundant. Porpoises and Orcas can be found in the waters surrounding San Juan, and they are beautiful to watch in the rain or shine. Friday Harbor is a wonderful place to walk around with many locally owned tourist attractions and restaurants. Roche Harbor is worth visiting  because of the beautiful sunsets that can be watched from the docks. It’s very easy to go on bike rides that are many miles long as you don’t pay attention because you’re paying attention to the gorgeous scenery. San Juan Island is definitely worth the trip.

San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce Website: http://www.sanjuanisland.org/

Difficulty: ✓✓✓✓
(Note: The drive takes FOREVER but the ferry ride is enjoyable.)

Directions from West Linn High School: http://g.co/maps/k4db6

The Museum of Flight in the south of Seattle, Washington is a non-profit museum that has over 400,000 artifacts. The museum has many rare finds including an M-21 Blackbird, the first jet powered Air Force One, and a Concorde jet. The museum is very nice on the inside and is nicely laid out for visitors. It’s a wonderful place to visit if you’re in Seattle or the surrounding areas.

The Museum of Flight’s Website: http://www.museumofflight.org/

Difficulty: ✓
(Note: That is if you’re in Seattle. Look at Seattle, WA post for overall difficulty.)

Directions from West Linn High School: http://g.co/maps/s9wgt

(Photo Credit: Bowers)

Seattle, Washington is a four hour drive up from Portland, Oregon. It is a larger city that’s famous for the Space Needle, a 605 feet tall structure built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Some other popular spots in Seattle are Safeco Field, home of the Mariners; CenturyLink Field, home of the Seahawks; and Pike Place Market, a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople, and merchants overlooking Elliot Bay. Seattle is a very fun place to spend a weekend in, as there are a lot of things you can do.

Difficulty: ✓✓✓

(Note: A lot of people hate driving to Seattle because as you get closer to the city, the traffic gets more difficult to traverse.)

Directions from West Linn High School, OR: http://g.co/maps/gb4as

(Photo Credit: Bowers)

Bambridge Island, Washington is just a short ferry ride across the Puget Sound from Seattle. It’s a beautiful island with a beachy-feeling downtown. There are many restaurants and privately owned shops in town. Further back on the island you’ll find anything from small cottages to large mansions. There is a lot to do on the island, and it can be a wonderful way to spend a sunny day while visiting Seattle.

Difficulty: ✓✓✓

(Note: The drive and getting onto the ferry are difficult, but once you get there, the island is extremely easy to navigate.)

Directions: http://g.co/maps/evx6d

(Photo Credit: Bowers, Clbbb, The Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau)

The Tillamook Air Museum is located in an old blimp hanger used in World War Two. It is home to over 30 warplanes from various time periods including WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the First Gulf War, and the Second Gulf War. Along with the planes, there is a cafe and a gift shop. The museum is amazing, especially if you’re interested in history, planes, or war.

See their website at: http://www.tillamookair.com/

Difficulty: ✓✓

(Note: The only difficult thing about the Tillamook Air Museum is the drive.)

Directions: http://g.co/maps/46ahp

(Photo Credit: Bowers)

Manzanita, Oregon is a cozy little beach town nestled between Cannon Beach and Tillamook, Oregon. It’s the perfect place to escape and not be bothered by large crowds and too much traffic. The beach is beautiful, and in town you’ll find a main road that runs down to the ocean. There are bookstores, coffee shops, a bakery, an ice cream store, clothing stores, a golf course, Nehalem State Park, and a small basketball court located next to the police and fire station. Manznita is an excellent place to go on bike rides and walk on the beach. All in all, it’s a quaint beach town.

Difficulty:✓✓

(Note: The drive is the only difficult part of being in Manzanita.)

For directions click here: http://g.co/maps/f3uby

(Photo Credit: Bowers)


A must for Oregonians, Multnomah Falls will provide a serene landscape with a heart-stopping view. For those looking to have a quiet walk or a rigorous hike, Multnomah is the place for you.To get to the highest point of the falls, a 5.4 mile hike with 11 switch backs can take you there.
Difficulty:✓✓✓✓
For directions click here: http://g.co/maps/ascvk
(Photo credit:Odalaigh)

A must for Oregonians, Multnomah Falls will provide a serene landscape with a heart-stopping view. For those looking to have a quiet walk or a rigorous hike, Multnomah is the place for you.To get to the highest point of the falls, a 5.4 mile hike with 11 switch backs can take you there.

Difficulty:✓✓✓✓

For directions click here: http://g.co/maps/ascvk

(Photo credit:Odalaigh)

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