Green Travel / Ecotourism
Today, many visitors seek out the story behind their destination. Eco-inspired travelers want to meet the locals, learn the culture and explore the terrain on a deeper, more meaningful level. With many natural wonders, the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region offers plenty of eco-inspirations for the green traveler.
Treading lightly and leaving no trace includes eco-friendly transportation from bio-diesel, electric/hybrid cars and bicycles. Find vehicle charging stations or learn about folding, travel bicycles!
From immersion in nature to educational explorations of the local ecosystem, there are many ways to make your visit green!
- Go birding at Fern Ridge Reservoir. Named an Important Birding Area in 2003, Fern Ridge Reservoir is home to more than 250 bird species including tundra swans, northern harriers, peregrine falcons, egrets and eagles.
- Visit Birds of Prey! The Cascades Raptor Center is a non-profit wildlife hospital dedicated to protecting the local raptor population through public education and rehabilitation. Their south Eugene wooded nature center cares for over 60 non-releasable birds and 33 native species and is open to visitors.
- Discover the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. These dunes are like no others in the world, and constitute the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. The experienced and professional dune buggy operators who negotiate this ever-shifting terrain embrace the self-imposed mandate of sharing the geologic story and ecology of the area while showing visitors an extraordinary time!
- Appreciate the Wetlands. The West Eugene Wetlands offers visitors opportunities for biking, hiking, outdoor photography, birding, wildlife and butterfly observation, as well as many other related outdoor activities - all within four miles of the core of the city of Eugene. This area is accessible via public transportation, and is close to the municipal airport, yet offers solace and opportunities for reflection in an urban setting.
- Navigate the Local Watershed. River rafting, kayaking, and fishing on the nearby crystal clear McKenzie River is an experience which brings you close to nature like no other. McKenzie guides are skillful and well educated about the river history, fauna and flora. The stewardship of the river is taken seriously by the folk who have often lived, loved and worked on it for decades.
- Take a Hike. The Coast and Cascades Trail includes excellent opportunities for estuarine viewing. With Clark's nuthatches and a variety of owls in the East to Tufted Puffins and Snowy Plovers in the Western portion of the county, the region offers fascinating birding opportunities.