Spring has returned to Oregon’s forests and you can see the splendor in showy ways. Not just the blossoms or the fresh greenery, but brilliant sunshine on a day too nice to stay indoors.

If you follow Bill Wood’s lead, there’s a good chance you’ll learn something new too. Bill Wood is chief guide and the man in charge at the Magness Memorial Tree Farm and he will teach you much about life in his forest.

Magness Tree Farm is an 80-acre parcel tucked into the hills just a handful of miles between Wilsonville and Sherwood, Oregon. In 1977, Howard and Pansy Magness donated the land to be used for purposes of environmental education.

The site boasts more than two miles of trail; most of it is a fairly gentle grade and as you hike, you will often have Corral Creek by your side. Down close to ground, you will also enjoy the first signs of spring: white-faced trilliums light up the scene and they are prime right now.

Magness is just part of the outdoor education story because it is owned by the nearby World Forestry Center, (located in Portland’s west hills adjacent to the Oregon Zoo.) If you travel to the WFC, step indoors and explore the Discovery Museum for hands on education that compliments the outdoor experience.

The World Forestry Center’s Discovery Museum offers more than 100 exhibits that will open your eyes and perhaps capture your imagination. You can go aboard a whitewater raft, climb into a tree lift that soars more than 50 high for a bird’s eye view into a tree canopy or you can buckle up in a four wheel drive vehicle to tour an African rain forest.

Back in the forest at the Magness Tree Farm, be sure to check out the three rustic cabins that you can rent for a longer stay. Each cabin sleeps up to 12 people and offers electricity, but no heat – so if you spend the night, you want to prepare for colder nights. Reservations are required.

About the Author: Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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