Hike with purpose: National forest ornament hunt is back

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association has launched its third annual ornament hunt on non-wilderness trails of the Willamette National Forest and a handful of trails in the Umpqua National Forest.
The hunt, which began last month, encourages locals and travelers to connect with public lands and increase outdoor recreation activities.
One hundred and fifty ornaments will be hidden along non-wilderness trails that have not been affected by wildfires for lucky adventurers to find.
Three different wooden ornaments, each featuring a fun-loving forest creature, are spread across trails in the Willamette National Forest and the Umpqua National Forest.
Each one includes a Willamette Valley leather patch and instructions on how to register to win a prize. Find and register all three and you will be eligible to win an adventure and overnight stay in the Willamette Valley.
In 2018, the Willamette National Forest provided the Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington D.C., and ornaments were hidden on forest trails to encourage people to connect with public lands. With this tradition, we hope to inspire people to continue to explore and support our public lands, especially this year when so many trails of were affected by wildfires.
The Willamette National Forest provides recreational opportunities, fishing, hunting, foraging, firewood, minerals, wood products and, of course, Christmas trees. Christmas tree permits are available online at www.recreation.gov/tree-permits/ebd4facc-ec56-11ea-bcba-fa43c1aabce3.
The Willamette Valley Visitors Association website, willamettevalley.org/ornament will serve as the hub for contest winners to claim their prizes throughout the contest, which will run through Jan. 1, 2021.
You can also find trail information and hints throughout December on this page and the WVVA’s social channels.
Participants are encouraged to share adventures using the hashtags: #FindYourOrnament, #FindYourTrail, #IwonderWV, #pnwonderland, #willamettenationalforest.