Turning to the Internet to Find the Great Outdoors

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June 1, 2012

This is it, my fellow Northwesterners. After nine months of mostly gray, wet and cold weather, summer is upon us! With the return of that strange yellow orb in the sky, ample opportunity for adventure awaits in the great outdoors. From camping to hiking to fishing to biking, Oregon offers some of the most scenic and available recreational activities in the country. But where to start? How does one find the best fly fishing spots? And what about places with electricity or hot water, for the person who wants to get away from it all but not leave it all behind?

Somewhat counter-intuitively, we turn to the internet in search of a way to find the perfect outdoor experience. The state provides two excellent resources: www.traveloregon.com run by the Oregon Tourism Commission, and www.oregonstateparks.org powered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Both sites contain a wealth of information but have their differences. Travel Oregon is a contemporary site chock-full of reader-submitted trip ideas and reviews, feature stories and deals on travel. A customizable search menu allows users to find their perfect campground.

While the Parks and Rec site may look like your typical government-run website, the information it provides is extraordinary. Every park in the state is listed along with its various specifications, maps, photos and directions. The website also provides the only online method to reserve a campsite, a great way to make sure that favorite camping spot is yours for the perfect weekend. Take advantage of the amazing natural beauty this state has to offer because, before you know it, we’ll be wondering just exactly where these summer months went.