How Will You Enjoy Forest Recreation This Year?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How will you enjoy the beautiful Oregon forests this year? If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, the possibilities are endless. The Pacific Northwest is filled with beautiful surroundings, and you can take advantage of Oregon’s natural wonders year-round. Read on to find out more about all the exciting possibilities for forest recreation throughout the year. There are activities for everyone to enjoy in every season.

What Do Forests Offer That Other Locations Cannot?

If you’re from a more metropolitan area, recreation in the great outdoors can be exactly the change you need. It’s a great way to relax if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands of modern life. As our world becomes increasingly digital, it’s important to stay connected to the planet, its beauty and its resources.

If you just moved to Oregon or are visiting the area, you should check the forests out to see what makes this state so special.

What Are the Benefits of Forest Recreation?

Studies have shown that spending time in nature can improve physical and mental health. It improves concentration and reduces stress. Forest recreation can have a positive impact on blood pressure, sleep, anxiety and depression. These activities increase endorphin and energy levels while also reducing cortisol, the hormone that causes stress.

Other studies show that surrounding yourself with nature might lower the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Being in an area with less air and noise pollution, as well as more trees, may also lower the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

You don’t have to spend all your time doing forest recreation to receive its benefits. Even a few hours of exercise in nature a week can really make a difference.

Forest recreation is a great way to spend quality time with your family and make memories that will last a lifetime. It can also help you make new friends, as you’ll socialize with others who share your interests. Social interaction is also linked to improved cognitive function.

What Are Some Common Types of Forest Recreation Activities?

There are many different ways to enjoy Oregon’s forests. Some of the most popular include:

  • Biking: Take advantage of Oregon’s Scenic Bikeway program and explore Oregon forests from two wheels.
  • Camping: With national forests, state parks and numerous private tent and RV campgrounds in Oregon, you can choose your own camping adventure.
  • Swimming: Whether you’re looking for family swims, lazy rivers, hot springs or cliff jumping, Oregon’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters are here to be explored.
  • Hiking: Oregon has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. Explore forest trails in spring, summer, fall and even winter.
  • Climbing: Oregon’s Smith Rock is considered the birthplace of American sport climbing. Whatever your skill level, you can start with the classics or climb another location.
  • Fishing: Anglers have plenty of options for year-round fishing in Oregon, including a variety of freshwater fish species that make their homes in the lakes and rivers of the forests.
  • Hunting: Oregon offers seasons for all your favorite game.

Every new season offers a unique experience. Different species of animals and plants thrive in different seasonal conditions. Many plants also change their appearance throughout the year. The colors and blooms of various plants, trees and flowers may look completely different from one season to the next.

What Forest Recreation Activities Are Done in Winter Months?

The above activities only scratch the surface of the recreation Oregon has to offer. The forests don’t close when it’s cold. In fact, the snowfall creates a vista that is so idyllic, it looks straight from a Christmas card. In the colder season, you can enjoy forest recreation activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, tubing and much more.

What Forest Recreation Activities Can Those With Different Interests Enjoy?

Not into the more common activities like camping, hiking, hunting or skiing? Don’t worry. The forests provide recreational activities for any interest.

Want to appreciate the forest without breaking a sweat? Take in the natural wonder with observation activities like sightseeing, listening to bird songs, collecting natural items like pinecones and taking pictures. Depending on the forest, there can be exciting waterfalls or caves that are worth a visit.

People of all ages can take to the forests to observe the local flora and fauna. Especially if you’re visiting a forest away from home. The species of trees, plants and animals can vary wildly depending on location. There’s so much to explore, every forest can be like a new adventure.

Science-minded individuals will find plenty of nature to study and observe in the forest. And in doing so, you can actually help forests continue to thrive. For instance, if visitors notice that a tree appears to be diseased or infested, they can notify the local authority.

What About Those Who Are More Artistic?

Nature photography is part of sightseeing, but it’s also a celebrated art form. Nature has inspired great works of art for centuries. If you’re into poetry, for example, just look at the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Robert Frost. Whether your medium is photography, fine art or writing, forests could offer the creative spark you’ve been searching for.

What Should People Keep in Mind to Enjoy Forest Recreation Safely?

Be prepared by packing extra water, hand sanitizer and first aid products. If you’ve never been to a particular forest before, read about it ahead of time.

Dress appropriately for your recreation activities. Oregon’s weather can vary a lot and change quickly depending on the time of year and where you’re exploring. Look at the forecast ahead of time and wear layers.

Stay safe during your visit as well. Stay on the marked hiking paths. While there are edible items in forests, don’t eat anything you’re not sure is safe.

Are you new to forest recreation? Need help planning your next trip? Resources like are great help for exploring forests in Oregon or in other states. This organization provides a helpful guide for the logistical aspects of forest recreation such as venue use, permits, tickets and lodging.

As you can probably tell, we love the great outdoors just as much as you do. That’s why we’re fighting hard for it to thrive. Campaigns like Oregon Forests Forever support managed forests so people can continue enjoying recreational activities and the natural beauty. Forest management also provides community jobs, supports local wildlife and is effective at reducing wildfires.

Meta: Learn about all the exciting possibilities for forest recreation throughout the year. There are activities for everyone to enjoy in every season.

Share This: