By: Mary Pellegrini
March brings the northern movement of many migratory land birds. The Tundra Swans that winter in the Columbia River Gorge have left. The Oregon Cascades Birding Trail, (OCBT) is a self-guided tour highlighting nearly 200 prime birding destinations designed to showcase Oregon’s birds and spectacular scenery. After a great night’s sleep at the Old Parkdale Inn set off on the Mt Hood Loop of the Oregon Cascade Birding Trail with a map provided by us.
The Mt. Hood Loop of the OCBT rises from the Columbia River to Mt. Hood, the highest point in Oregon, and combines some of the best of the region’s birding with legendary Oregon scenery. This loop traverses the Columbia River National Scenic Area and the Mt. Hood National Forest and visits 19 birding sites.
Lewis and Clark traveled the Columbia Gorge corridor. The Lewis’ Woodpecker, Clark’s Nutcracker and Clark’s Grebe were named in their honor. Many species of waterfowl and raptors including the Bald Eagle inhabit the river and further up the mountain you’ll observe woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and so many more.
One of my favorite birding hikes, and I have many, is the Tamanawas Falls trail. The falls are amazing at 100 feet high and 40 feet wide. The trailhead footbridge is the midpoint of a 8-mile stretch of the East Fork of the Hood River hosting nesting Harlequin Ducks. A riparian habitat and mature mixed-conifer forest surrounds the trail to the falls.
Bring out the hiking boots and binoculars, pack your bags and begin your Oregon Birdwatching adventure at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast.
Let us be home base for exploring and enjoying the Hood River Valley and Mt Hood National Forest. After a full day, you’ll love the peace and tranquility of the Old Parkdale Inn. Relax in the gardens, perhaps with a glass of wine from a bottle you picked up at a local winery or our wine cabinet. We can even have a bonfire, roast some s’mores, weather permitting of course.
The Hood River Fruit loop is located in the beautiful Hood River Valley at the foot of majestic Mt. Hood offering you a variety of wines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ciders, and food. Outdoor adventures such as kayaking, windsurfing, skiing, snow boarding, and hiking await. Mt. Hood Meadows, Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, and Timberline Ski areas are only a short drive away, as is the vast Mt. Hood National Forest where trails and wildlife abound. During the summer months stay at the Inn and take advantage of our partnership with Wet Planet Whitewater to receive $10 your raft adventure.