PORTLAND, Ore. -

To celebrate 50 years of protected Wilderness in Oregon on the anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act, the conservation group Oregon Wild is inviting Oregonians to hit the trail this summer as part of Oregon Wild Summer presented by KEEN Footwear.

Outings start June 7 with opportunities to explore Oregon’s wild places extending into September with 40 outdoor adventures. Hikers won’t just enjoy the scenery, they’ll learn first hand about the effort to protect Oregon’s vanishing wilderness.

Sign up for hikes at www.oregonwild.org/about/hikes_events.

For those looking to put themselves to the test, Oregon Wild Summer is paired this year with a summer-long contest to see how many places you can explore in Oregon. The 50 Hikes Challenge asks hikers if they have what it takes to hike in every protected Wilderness area in the state before the end of October. Entrants win great prizes for hiking a certain number of trails.

Register for the 50 Hikes Challenge at www.oregonwild.org/about/hikes_events/50-hikes-challenge

“Oregon Wild has been helping protect our most special Wilderness areas now for 40 years,” said Sean Stevens, Oregon Wild Executive Director. “One of our favorite things to do throughout our history is to give people a chance to connect with all of the amazing outdoor destinations across our state. To know Wilderness is to love it!”

Oregon Wild Summer works to inspire stewardship of Oregon’s wildlands through outdoor adventures for people of all ages and interests, including an easygoing family hike to Tamanawas Falls in late June and an exploration of Opal Creek’s ancient forests in early June. All of the hikes are rated according to difficulty (Easy, Moderate, or Strenuous), allowing participants to choose the hike that best matches their abilities. More rugged hikes are five miles or longer.

While all Oregon Wild Summer outings provide a great chance to see water, wildlife and wildlands, some have a specific ecological focus. Celebrated naturalist Wendell Wood will lead three wildflower identification hikes around Mount Hood in June. The summer culminates with several trips (including a summit exploration of Mount Bailey and a campout weekend) to the proposed Crater Lake Wilderness.

All hikes are free and open to the general public, with a suggested donation to Oregon Wild. To find out more about joining Oregon Wild, contact membership@oregonwild.org or call 503.283.6343 ext 213.

Oregon Wild thanks KEEN Footwear for their generous support of Oregon Wild Summer 2014. To find out more go to www.oregonwild.org/about/hikes_events/oregon-wild-summer

Hikes by Location

All hikes are free.

Portland area:
Marquam Trail Photography Hike with Outdoor Project (Wilderness Conference - 6/6)
Opal Creek Wilderness Ancient Forest Hike (6/7)
Tamanawas Falls Hike (6/7)
Salmon River Wildflower ID Hike (6/12)
Angel's Rest to Wahkenna Falls Wildflower ID Hike (6/14)
Larch Mountain - Sherrard Point to Multnomah Creek Wildflower Hike (6/16)
Tilly Jane/Cloud Cap Saddle Hike (6/21)
Tamanawas Falls Family Hike with Great Old Broads for Wilderness (6/28)
Bull of the Woods Wilderness Hike (7/3)
Eagle Creek (Columbia River Gorge) Hike (7/10)
Tamanawas Falls Hike (7/12)
Boulder Lake Hike (7/13)
Serene Lake/Roaring River Wilderness Hike (8/7)
Vista Ridge Hike (8/9)
Horsetail & Triple Falls (Oneonta Gorge) Hike (8/19)
Rooster Rock (Table Rock Wilderness) Hike (8/21)

Salem area:
Opal Creek Wilderness Ancient Forest Hike (6/7)
Bull of the Woods Wilderness Hike (7/3)
Rooster Rock (Table Rock Wilderness) Hike (8/21)

Eugene area:
French Pete Creek (Three Sisters Wilderness) Hike (6/8)
Last Creek Hike with Umpqua Watersheds (6/15)
Mount June Hike (6/26)
Pine Bench (Boulder Creek Wilderness) Hike (6/29)
Donegan Prairie Hike with Umpqua Watersheds (7/7)
Olallie Mountain (Three Sisters Wilderness) Hike (7/13)
Rooster Rock (Menagerie Wilderness) Hike (8/2)
Indigo Lake and Sawtooth Mountain Hike with Umpqua Watersheds (9/6)
Shale Ridge (Three Sisters-Waldo Lake Wilderness) Hike (9/7)
Diamond Peak Wilderness Hike (9/14)
Crater Lake Proposed Wilderness Hike Weekend with Great Old Broads (Late Aug)
Mount Bailey Overnight (9/27-9/28)

Bend area:
Badlands Natural History Walk with ONDA (6/5)
South Fork & Sand Hollow Wilderness Monitoring Trip with ONDA (6/5-6/8)
Pine Mountain Natural History Walk with ONDA (6/6)
Logan Valley Spring Restoration Trip & Strawberry Mountain Hike with ONDA (6/12-6/15)
Pajtens Lakes (Mount Washington Wilderness) Hike (9/6)

Southern Oregon:
Rafting trip on the Rogue River with American Whitewater, Northwest Rafting Co. (6/5-6/8)
Grizzly Peak Botanical Hike with KS Wild (6/29)
Klamath Basin Canoe & Kayak Trip (7/3-7/6)
Crater Lake Proposed Wilderness Hike Weekend with Great Old Broads (Late Aug)