Beginning March 12, Friends of the Columbia Gorge will dive into their spring hiking program, a slate of 64 guided treks exploring classic Gorge trails, little known wonders, and even Land Trust properties which are not normally open to the public.
First up, on March 12, is a visit to the Mosier Twin Tunnels on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Then on March 13, head to Catherine Creek in Washington for unmatched Gorge views and a chance to sniff out one of the area’s best wildflower displays.
Don’t worry about driving, either: All trips depart from the Friends’ carpool site at Gateway Transit Center between 8-9am, and return no later than 5pm. (There’s a suggested contribution of $5-10 per rider to the carpool drivers.)
If touring the Gorge solo is more your speed, consider taking the Friends up on their 25 Trails, 25 Years challenge. This self-service event encourages hikers to tackle 25 of the Gorge’s classic outings—Angels Rest, Cape Horn, and Dog Mountain among others—between now and October 31 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the founding of Columbia River National Scenic Area.
And if the natural beauty that you’ll encounter on the hikes isn’t motivation enough to keep you huffing up the hills through the summer and fall, the Friends have a few carrots to dangle before your eyes—namely the chance to be entered in a raffle for prizes to be awarded in the fall.
In fact, even hikers who register for the 25 Trails, 25 years and only manage to complete a single trail will still receive a souvenir for their efforts. The Friends do offer this warning, however: Bet ya can’t hike just one.