In 2006, Jeff Statt and Jeff Black created the original PortlandHikers.com forum. Initially a private non-profit venture for hikers in the greater Portland region, the online hiking community was an immediate success. By 2007, it was clear the forum needed to become a nonprofit entity, and the forum became Portland Hikers.org. In 2008, the Portland Hikers Field Guide was created as a “wiki” for ordinary hikers to write their own trip descriptions. Dan Porter was the leading force behind the creation of the Field Guide and continues to be a Forum and Field Guide guru to this day.
Today, the forum has evolved to become the Oregon Hikers Forum, with a statewide presence and more than 7,000 registered members. Thousands visit the forum each week to view the steady stream of trip reports, hiking tips and general hiking banter that makes the forum so popular.
The original field guide has now become the Oregon Hikers Field Guide, with hundreds of hiking trip descriptions, maps and photos from around Oregon and Southwest Washington, each written by members of the forum. The forum and field guide continue to be free resources to the public as part of TKO’s ongoing mission to promote trails and hiking in Oregon.
TKO would not exist without the Oregon Hikers Forum. As the original Portland Hikers forum began to grow exponentially, Jeff Statt was thinking about how to add a service and stewardship emphasis to the endeavor. The pieces came together with an ad hoc stewardship project to help restore Mount Hood’s Old Vista Ridge Trail in September 2007, when the idea of launching TKO was hatched. In October of that year, Jeff convened the first meeting of what would become Trailkeepers of Oregon!
In 2009, Jeff Statt and Jeff Black closed the circle with formal donation of the Portland Hikers Forum to TKO to be operated as a public service for the hiking community.
Using the Forum & Field Guide
The Oregon Hikers Forum is simple to use: simply go to the website and browse around the various discussion areas. The trip reports section is the most busy, with regular updates from hikers on the latest conditions on the trail. Other discussion areas focus on hiking equipment and safety, hiking history and even off-trail adventures.
You don’t have to be a registered member of the forum to use the resource, but you do have to sign up in order to post to the forum. It’s easy and free to do so, just follow the instructions on the forum — and enjoy!
The Oregon Hikers Field Guide is reached via a tab on the main Oregon Hikers console. It works just like any wiki (think Wikipedia), and you can search for hikes using keywords or simply browse by region. The guide covers all of Oregon and southwest Washington.
When you use the Oregon Hikers Field Guide, keep in mind that it is being updated continually by nearly 30 volunteers, and we’re always looking for ways to improve it. If you’re interested in being a Field Guide author, contact our Volunteer Coordinator for more information.
If you would like to support TKO in keeping the Oregon Hikers Forum and Field Guide up and running, we would appreciate your donation!