Mobile Workshops

2018 National Trails System Conference participants may participate in the following mobile workshops at cost. To sign-up, please make your selection when registering for the conference. Participants do NOT need to be jointly registered to attend the river mobile workshops listed below.

The Pacific Crest Trail in the Columbia River Gorge (Full Day 8:00AM to 5:00PM) FULL

Two hikes offer attendees the opportunity to experience the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail on either the Washington or Oregon side of the Columbia River. Both hikes start and end in Cascade Locks, OR. Those heading north into Washington will cross the Columbia River via the Bridge of the Gods; and will discuss private and state land acquisitions, timber harvests and associated controversial issues. Those heading south will discuss the effects of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire as it relates to the PCT, as well as the importance of outdoor recreation to the small communities along the Columbia River. Tour involves approx. 2-hours of bus travel and a 5-mile hike with some steep elevation changes. Cost: $65

The Emigrants’ Final Choice on the Oregon Trail: Columbia River Rapids or the Steep Descent ‘Round Mt. Hood (Full Day 7:30AM to 5:30PM)

Join in an all day exploration of several trail-related sites and segments along the west end of the Oregon National Historic Trail, and view the final hurdles emigrants faced before reaching Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley. Gaze upon the landscapes of the Columbia River and the Cascade Range in order to appreciate the final segment emigrants traveled in their 2,000-mile trek to the Valley. Consider their daring choice—a challenging descent on Barlow Road or face the Columbia River’s rapids. Learn about the present challenges of protecting, marking, mapping and interpreting the Oregon Trail’s west end and how this trail corridor is celebrating its 175th anniversary. This tour involves about 6-hours of bus travel, some easy walks or more strenuous hikes. Cost: $75

Enduring Stories of Tribal Survivance & Collaboration Along the Columbia River (Full Day 9:15AM to 4:15PM) FULL

Dig deeper into the storied landscape of the Columbia River while exploring two trails/installations designed by artist and architect Maya Lin. On this tour of the Vancouver Land Bridge from Vancouver, WA to the Sandy River Delta in Troutdale, OR, leaders in tribal lifeways and sovereignty, archaeology and ecological stewardship share their work and perspectives on the history, heritage and experiences that contribute to an evolving story of the Columbia River. Explore, consider and converse at two sites along the Columbia River selected for their capacity to illustrate rich, enduring stories of place. Themes include Columbia River history, tribal sovereignty and survivance, evolving land ethic and designing for social change. This tour involves a ¼-mile walk to the Vancouver Land Bridge and 1 ½-mile hike to the Maya Lin bird blind along the Sandy River Delta Trail. Cost: $75


The Layered History of the Columbia River Gorge (Half Day 12:30PM to 5:30PM) FULL

Visit Beacon Rock State Park in Skamania, Washington, where breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge give witness to the columnar basalt and steep mountains left by the Ice Age Floods. From these lofty heights you will learn about the conservation, geology, tribal history and impacts of the Lewis and Clark Expedition along the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. This tour involves a 3-hour bus ride (round-trip), and a 2-mile hike with a rigorous 800-foot climb. Cost: $45

Mount St. Helens – Johnson Ridge Visitor Center (Full Day) FULL

Pacific Northwest natives variously called it “Louwala-Clough,” or “smoking mountain.” Captain George Vancouver of the British Royal Navy established its modern name in 1792 when he named other volcanoes in the Cascades for British naval officers –Mounts Baker, Hood, and Rainier. For the majority of the 20th Century visitors came to enjoy the serene, beautiful mountain playground teeming with wildlife. At the base of the volcano’s northern flank, Spirit Lake was especially popular as a recreational area for hiking, camping, fishing, swimming and boating. The tranquility of the Mount St. Helens region was shattered in the spring of 1980, however, when the volcano exploded back to life. Local people rediscovered that they had an active volcano in their midst, and we were reminded that the active and potentially dangerous volcanoes of the United States are not restricted to Alaska and Hawaii. The Visitor Center provides firsthand accounts of the earthquakes and eruption that took play over the course of several months and a spectacular view of the mountain, wildlife and replanted forests. Hosted by River Management Society. Cost: $50

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge – Refuge Tour, Lake River Paddle (Full Day) FULL

The banks of the lower Columbia River have been alive with activity for thousands of years. Ancient human civilizations thrived here and shared the land with an abundance of animal and plant life. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge’s wetlands, grasslands, riparian corridors and forest provide an ideal environment for migrating birds and wintering waterfowl. Each fall the Refuge comes alive with thousands of ducks, geese and swans. The Chinookan village of Cathlapotle, located on the refuge was visited by Lewis and Clark in 1805 on their way to the Pacific. A full-scale cedar plankhouse, built on the refuge in partnership with the Chinook Indian Nation, Portland State University, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and numerous other partners hosts Refuge environmental education and interpretive programs and special cultural and historic events. Our morning visit to the refuge and Cathlapotle Plankhouse led by Refuge staff will be followed by an afternoon kayaking adjacent to the Refuge on the Lake River, guided by Alder Creek outfitters. Hosted by River Management Society. Cost: $75

Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge Restoration Initiatives (Half Day) FULL

Teeming with wildlife at the eastern edge of the communities of Camas and Washougas, Washington the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge provides excellent opportunities for bird watching and wildlife observation. The Refuge is involved in significant habitat restoration efforts. Over two miles of dike will be removed to reconnect floodplain to the lower Columbia River, benefiting fish and wildlife, particularly juvenile salmon. This collaborative project involves the Bonneville Power Administration, Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, Friends of the Columbia George, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Almost 1,000 acres of the historic Columbia River floodplain will be reconnected to the river. Participants will learn about this major restoration project and the partners involved. Hosted by River Management Society. Cost: $50