Covering Washington, Oregon & British Columbia

Setting a Trail Marker on the Oregon Trail

1/7 Setting a Trail Marker on the Oregon Trail

Confirming Oregon Trail in the Blue Mountain

2/7 Confirming Oregon Trail in the Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain trees growing in the trail

3/7 Blue Mountain trees growing in the trail

2013 Pre-convention Tour west of Pendleton

4/7 2013 Pre-convention Tour west of Pendleton

Swale at Echo Meadows

5/7 Swale at Echo Meadows

Applegate trail marking near Lower Klamath Lake

6/7 Applegate trail marking near Lower Klamath Lake

Applegate trail in Willamette Valley

7/7 Applegate trail in Willamette Valley

Our interest is in study, research, protection, preservation, and enjoyment of the historic trails in Oregon and Washington. We have the privilege of living in the territory that was the reason for the emigrant trails.


Many of our members are descendents or know descendents of trail pioneers although many don't have these connections. We strive to preserve our heritage.  Some of the more notable NW sites along the trails are the Columbia River, Fort Vancouver, ruts near Echo, Barlow Road, Blue Mountains, Whitman Mission, the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City, and the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center near Baker City. There is more to see on the Applegate Trail (the Southern Route to Oregon). Our chapter is deeply involved with researching, mapping, and marking the historic trails. We have semi-annual tours which are open to the public of sections of the trails. Please join us - it's fun.

      Chapter Mission

      The mission of the Northwest chapter of OCTA is to support and initiate local efforts using private and governmental partners and to join with adjacent chapters in support of the national association efforts in identifying, preserving, protecting and educating the public about the Oregon Trail and California Overland Trail legacy.

          New Resource: Northwest Trail Isssues

          If you scroll down to the Resources Section, you will see a new section titled "Northwest Trail Issues". This section will be used to address current issues of importance to the Northwest Chapter.

          Of immediate concern is the proposed transmission line from Boardman to Hemingway. This line will severely impact the Oregon Trail.

          This issue was discussed in detail during the NW OCTA Annual Chapter Meeting on March 14. A resolution was passed protesting the proposed route. This was sent as a comment to BLM.

          Several chapter members sent comments as individuals.

          The comment period is over, as of March 19.

          Please read the Issues section for details.

          2016 Chapter Leadership

          Below is a list of OCTA Northwest members holding elected and appointed positions with the chapter. Additional information will soon be available in the link below.

          • President: Rich Herman
          • Vice President: Paul Massee
          • Secretary: Polly Jackson
          • Treasurer: Glenn Harrison
          • Directors: Lynne Alvord
          • Directors: Ray Egan
          • Directors: Lorna Waltz

          2016 Chapter Outings and Activities


          Paul Massee, NW OCTA Vice President and Outings Coordinator has provided the following information about NW OCTA chapter outings this year.

          We have interest already on the June driving tour of the Devil's Backbone on Marmot road & Sandy museum, the Hilgard to Meacham 3 day outing in July and The Lavender Festival in early July. There's room for more at each outing.

          JUNE 11/12-----Driving Tour starting in Sandy, OR at their museum, then to Brightwood and back to Sandy via Marmot Road and the Devil's Backbone with viewing ruts and Tollgate #2 site. Contact: Henry Pittock.

          JUNE 24/26-----An OHTAC outing to Baker City, OR  to visit sites on the Oregon Trail affected by the proposed B2H transmission line project. Contact: Glenn Harrison

          JULY ?-----South end of Hix Road through Tygh Valley ending at the Davis Ranch west of Wamic.  The Klamath road to Tygh V., then Barlow road to the eastern border of. Mt. Hood National Forest. Contact: Paul Massee

          JULY 9/10-----The Lavender Farm and Lavender Festival east of Oregon City.  We will examine Barlow Road ruts and possibly set some Carsonite markers next door to the Lavender Farm.  Contact Henry Pittock for details.

          JULY 23/24-----Hilgard to Meacham to see pristine Oregon Trail ruts and swales while setting new or cleaning old carsonite markers in the Blue Mountains near la Grande, OR. Contact: Gail Carbiener

          SEPT. 16/26-----OHTAC outing to examine the Oregon Trail between Hermiston and Umatilla OR. Contact: Glenn Harrison

          Connect with contacts to register or request more information.

              Explore the Cowlitz Pass

              Shortly after Ezra Meeker completed his ambitious 1906 expedition to preserve the Old Oregon Trail the Daughters of the American Revolution approved a proposal to honor the memory of Oregon Trail pioneers in Washington State. The Sons of the American Revolution give support to DAR’s program.

              Explore the Naches Pass

              The Naches Trail crosses the Cascade Range through Naches Pass, roughly from today's Bonney Lake in the west to Yakima in the east. Later the name was applied to the route from Walla Walla to Steilacoom, as an extension of the Oregon Trail.

              Finding the Free Emigrant Road

              Find the "Free Emigrant Road" from an easy chair!
              Read about things you never knew existed!


                  Northwest Trail Issues

                  This section will address current issues of importance to the Northwest Chapter. Of immediate concern is the proposed transmission line from Boardman to Hemingway. This line will severely impact the Oregon Trail

                  NW Chapter Newsletter

                  Northwest Trails is the newsletter for the Northwest Chapter. It is published quarterly (January, April, July, October) in electronic and print versions.

                  Northwest Chapter Handbook

                  The handbook provides by-laws other governing information for the chapter.

                  Richard & Trudy Ackerman Meritorious Achievement Award

                  Since 2000, the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center has honored individuals that have made significant contributions to trail history.

                  ^ Back to Top

                  Regional Chapters Northwest

                  Save the Trail: Preservation
                  Paper Trail: Pioneer Documents

                  OCTA News

                  Proposed Transmission line transects Oregon Trail

                  The final Environmental Impact Statement on the Boardman-Hemingway power ...

                  National Park Service Launches New Online Exhibits

                  Our colleagues in the NPS announced that several new online trail exhibi ...

                  Trail in Jeopardy in Nebraska

                  Reservoirs along the Platte River could inundate the south side routes ...

                  OCTA Activities

                  Orchestra On the Trail, Alcove Spring

                  Sep 04, 2016

                  OCTA 2016 Annual Convention

                  Aug 01, 2016

                  Speakers Bureau

                  Jun 30, 2016

                  National Pony Express Re-ride

                  Jun 15, 2016

                  PNTS Historic Trails Workshop

                  Jun 06, 2016

                  National Trails Day, June 4, 2016.

                  Jun 04, 2016

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