This Ecotourism in America series, which has highlighted many of the natural beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities available in the U.S., concludes with an eco-itinerary for what is typically viewed as the most environmentally conscious states of the union – namely Washington and Oregon. Washington has an informative website full of great ideas for exploring the state. Travel Oregon’s website offers the revealing experiences section, which helps visitors whet their appetites for adventure.
Besides the option of taking the Amtrak train or driving a hybrid vehicle, you may want to consider a sustainable Silver Bike self-guided bicycle tour through Washington or a Pedal Bike tour through western Oregon. Tours include lodging, dining, local sightseeing, luggage transfer, small group sizes and all the nature and breathtaking scenery you can take in along the way.
Suggested family ecotour itinerary:
- Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest – located on the western slopes of the Cascade mountain range that extends over 140 miles between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. The forest contains glacier-covered peaks alongside mountain meadows. No permits are necessary when entering a trailhead with the exception of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. On the western side of the Cascade mountain range is Mt. Rainer National Park, which offers many biking, hiking, and boating activities. On the eastern side is the Barn Beach Reserve, which a combined environmental learning center, museum, and arts organization that sponsors lectures, field trips and provides guided nature walks.
- Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest – located in the southwestern part of Oregon contains Class IV and V whitewater rafting areas, isolated wilderness for hiking and camping, fisheries, horseback riding, and mountain trekking trails in the midst of spectacular scenery.
Suggested green lodging:
- Twin Gables B&B near Skamokawa, Washington in the southwestern part of the state is equidistant to Seattle and Portland and offers a haven for kayakers and naturalists alike.
- WildSpring Guest Habitat near Port Orford in the southern Oregon coast offers 5 eco-luxurious cabins all with a keen eye toward respecting the environment. The cabins are on a property that is an official birding site on the Oregon Coast Birding Trail and is a certified National Wildlife Federation habitat for wild animals. Besides hiking, fishing, whale watching, and horseback riding, the keepers offer a locally sourced, organic breakfast.