A Grand Treasure Hunt: Find Christmas Ornaments in Oregon's Willamette National Forest

A Grand Treasure Hunt: Find Christmas Ornaments in Oregon's Willamette National Forest

Published 12/03/2019 at 7:52 PM PDT

A Grand Treasure Hunt: Find Christmas Ornaments in Oregon's Willamette National Forest

(Salem, Oregon) – While the Oregon coast lets you hunt for glass floats along the beaches of Lincoln City, now the Willamette Valley and its Oregon wine country organization are teaming up to provide a treasure hunt of Christmas ornaments throughout the Willamette National Forest. (Photo of Detroit Lake courtesy Travel Salem).

It’s the second annual ornament hunt in the forest region, which stretches from just east of Salem, down through Lane County and to the slopes of the Cascades. The hunt encourages locals and travelers alike to connect to public lands and increase outdoor recreation activities. Two hundred glass ornaments were hidden along non-wilderness trails on the Willamette National Forest as of last week, waiting for lucky adventurers to find.

In addition to winning a locally crafted hand-blown ornament, those who discover an ornament can register to win one of three grand prizes that include 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.

This year, the agency’s hope is that this very outdoorsy ornament hunt will inspire people to continue to explore the Willamette National Forest and all it has to offer. The ornament hunt will highlight 1,700 miles of trails on the Willamette National Forest. 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 this link.

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association website https://www.oregonwinecountry.org/ornament will serve as the hub for contest winners to claim their prizes throughout the contest which will run from November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020. Find trail information and hints throughout December here as well. The site has extensive listings of all sorts of places – many around Eugene and the southern valley – where these little Yuletide goodies can be found.

On social media, you can share your adventures using the hashtags: #FindYourOrnament #FindYourTrail, and #IwonderWV.

With over 1.5 million acres, the Willamette National Forest is home to eight wilderness areas, including the popular Three Sisters Wilderness and Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, a variety of backpacking and day hiking opportunities, waterfalls, wildflowers, mountain biking trails, boating, swimming and much more. The varied landscape of high mountains, narrow canyons, cascading streams, and wooded slopes offers excellent opportunities for visitors.