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


          February 15 - 16, Monday - Tuesday: NW OCTA Mapping & Marking Meeting. Clackamas County Historical Society museum’s conference room in Oregon City.  The purpose of the meeting is to plan mapping and marking activities for this year and to review the Trail Inventory Project results to date. We will start at 10:00 am on February 15. Please contact Dave Welch for  further details.

          March 5, Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm: NW OCTA 2015 Annual Meeting. Troutdale, OR. See current newsletter for details.


          Previous - 2015

          March 13, Friday, Afternoon: See Exra Meeker's Wagon

          March 13, Friday, 5 to 7 pm: Wine and Cheese Get Together

          March 14, Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm: NW OCTA 2015 Annual Meeting

          April 20, Monday, 9 am: Trail Inventory Project Review - Dave Welch.  Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City.

          • Dave Welch will lead a discussion of the results of the first year’s trail surveys.
          • This is an opportunity for all chapter members to learn about the discoveries and benefits of the new survey, and to find out what new survey activities are scheduled for the next several months.
          • Come learn about what has been accomplished, and see if you can participate in further efforts.
          • In the afternoon, attendees will discuss trail preservation issues and other items of interest.

          June 19-22. Fri,-Mon.:  Oregon Trail Work Days frorn Vale to Farewell Bend, OR. Various projects will include installing and relocating several signs at gravesites and interpretive sites as well as installing carsonite markers. This is an opportunity to see pristine trail ruts in a very scenic unspoiled environrnent. For more information, contact Gail Carbiener, or see the file at the end of this section "Oregon Trail Work Days - June 2015"

          June 27-28. Sat.-Sun.: Trail marking event at the Clackamas County Lavender Festival. Install carsonite rnarkers in Barlow Road trail ruts and possibly run an information booth at festival. Contact Henry Pittock for more information.

          July TBA: Locate and mark Barlow Rd. ruts in vicinity of Eagle Creek Golf Course.

          Julv 25-26, Sat.-Sun. Pendleton Symposium at the Red Lion Hotel. There will be several speakers presenting interesting local history on Saturday. A bus tour is planned tlrough Frenchtown and Whitman Mission on Sunday. More details will be available. Contact Roger Blair for more information.


          OHTAC Outings:

          There are three additional opportunities for trail experience which are being led by the Oregon Historical Trails Advisory Council (OHTAC). For additional information contact Billy Symms.

          April 24-25 Fri.-Sat.; Applegate Trail outing at Grants Pass, OR.

          June 26-27 Fri-Sat: Fremont/Whitman/Wyeth outing at LaGrande, OR.

          September 11-12 Fri-Sat.: Barlow Road outing based out of The Dalles, OR.

          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 ...

              Trail in Jeopardy in Nebraska

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

              National Park Service Launches New Online Exhibits

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

              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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