Cascade Geographic Society Presents
Beyond the Classroom:
Cultural, Historical & Natural Heritage Programs Offered Through the "Oregon Trail Education Center"
Classes, Workshops, Tours & Excursions of the Cascade Geographic Society featured in cooperation with Portland State University

The tours linked on this page are intended for teachers and schools who wish to provide an outdoor experience for their students that will never be forgotten.

If you are not a teacher and you are interested in learning more about these tours please contact Mike directly.

To sign up for a tour you must register with Cascade Geographic Society ahead of time. If you are interested in more about the tours listed below please follow the link highlighting the name of the tour. If you have questions after reading the information provided please contact Mike or Nita directly at (503) 622-4798 or (503) 658-6233.

Tour Mount Hood's Infamous Oregon Trail

Through the years, it has become tradition to many schools to visit the Oregon Trail on Mount Hood with the Cascade Geographic Society, and this would be an ideal adventure for you, your class, and parent helpers. Bring history alive by taking advantage of this field trip opportunity where you can follow in the wake of the "Prairie Schooners". The sites that will be visited during this day-long excursion include emigrant graves and campsites, wagon ruts and swales, primary and secondary routes, tollgates, stream "fords", and much more, including the infamous Big Laurel Hill where pioneers were forced to lower their covered wagons down over its dangerously-steep cliffs. This special interpretative tour will be enhanced with multi-cultural stories of the past about the Indians, the emigrant travelers, and the African-American pioneers who came West. This is a very popular field trip so sign-up early and reserve a day by calling (503) 622-4798.


Visit the "Portland Underground" (Shanghai Tunnels) with Your Class.

Beneath the streets of Downtown Portlandšs waterfront lie the remains of an infamous history that represents the remnants of an untold history of human rights violations at their worst. Unsuspecting victims who had little or no ties to their families, and who frequented the saloons and other places of lesser reputations, would find themselves dropped through trapdoors into basements where they were held hostage for a period of time until they were finally taken through tunnels to the wharfs and sold to sea captains ready to leave port. It was a time when the Rose City was "wide open" and police and political corruption were common but rarely discussed openly.

Today, you can visit the infamous "Portland Underground" with the Cascade Geographic Society. We will adjust the historical information in this 45-minute tour to the age of your class. This unique adventure into the historical world of shanghaiing is quickly becoming known as one of the best educational field trips around.

If you would like to explore Portland's Shangahi Tunnels with your class, make your reservations today. Special limited tours of Portland's infamous Underground are available. This unique and secret history of the "City of Roses" is awaiting you and your classes discovery and exploration.

For additional information, please give the Cascade Geographic Society a call (503) 622-4798. If you get our voicemail, to insure a quick response, be sure to leave both a daytime and evening number with the hours you can be reached.


The Infamous Barlow Trail

In 1845, the wagon parties of Samuel Kimbrough Barlow, Joel Palmer, and William Rector joined together and attempted to make the first crossing of the 11,235-foot Mt. Hood by widening an Ancient Indian trail. From mid-September through December, they battled their way through the thick timber of the Mountain's southern flank, and failed. They had to cache their "Prairie Schooners" and most of their possessions in a crudely-made log cabin, and hiked out. They didn't reach Oregon City until Christmas Day.

Today, with the expertise of an interpreter from the Cascade Geographic Society, experience this unique and colorful history by visiting emigrant campsites, graves, tollgates, wagon ruts and swales, and even the infamous Big Laurel Hill, the worst section of the 2,000-plus mile Oregon Trail. Or, study Old-Growth Forests, wetlands, Wild Rivers, Salmon and wildlife habitats, ethnobotany, environmental issues, and more, all located alongside this historic trail.


"Mt. Hood's Old-Growth Wilderness Odyssey"

Experience "Mt. Hood's Old-Growth Wilderness Odyssey" with your class. Participants will learn about both the Rivers and the Forests in this inter-disciplinary approach. Spend the day in a 33-acre Old-Growth Forest, complete with a Lake, a River, Wetlands, and lots of Wildlife and Salmon. This unique outdoor classroom will allow you to study environmental science, fisheries, social studies, language arts, art, and more. Wešll design a program to fit your needs. A great winter season field trip.


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