View Full Version : The Oregon Trail......

The Counselor
02-25-2011, 22:11
My third grader had a whole day of school today devoted to the historical aspects of the Oregon Trail. Sounded like fun. I am ignorant of it I must admit. Is this trail still in existence? Do people hike it?

Jersey Tim
02-25-2011, 22:38
Apparently it lives on as the Oregon National Historic Trail. Official NPS link: http://www.nps.gov/oreg/index.htm

Map (large PDF): http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/trails/natltrails.pdf

02-25-2011, 22:43
The oregOn trail is still around , in sections though, I lived in Nebraska for a while and it goes through the state almost in it's entirety. It's a spectacular trail. Because so many wagons went along it. The ruts are still there, probably permanently. People do hike it. All the time, but it's a long shot from the AT, PCT, or CDT. I might be mistaken but I think the American discovery trail follows it for a ways. And I think Nebraska is the part it does.

02-25-2011, 23:20
When hiking the CDT, in Wyoming you often see signposts for the Oregon trail as well as many of the other wagon train trails as they converge in the great basin. This is a shallow desert that is the actual continental divide, so an easy way to get across the Rockies.
If you have google earth, look at Rawlins WY, and east of there, almost all the way to the ID border is desert-like called the great basin i believe and also the red desert.
This is the area where the many different routes would crisscross and almost all of them went through South Pass city or Atlantic city which are almost ghost towns today but were booming towns back then i believe.

02-26-2011, 01:00
In the Great Basin on the CDT:

http://pmags2.jzapin.com/gallery2/d/14193-2/abi.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=032e99cf4796ae7a4e08ffdd5dcf 2a7b

The Oregon Buttes was also a prominent landmark in the Basin to Oregon bound travelers:

http://pmags2.jzapin.com/gallery2/d/14191-2/abh.JPG?g2_GALLERYSID=032e99cf4796ae7a4e08ffdd5dcf 2a7b

02-26-2011, 02:20
An uncle of mine with many "greats" in front of the title uncle traveled the Oregon Trail, or at least part of it, and settled in Walla Walla. His name was Theophilius Powell and he was a Methodist circuit rider from Kentucky. Apparently an incident along the way was the seed for a lot gold mine legend. He also carried the genes that resulted in a pocket of the hereditary eye disease retinitis pigmentosa in that area. I've read a letter from his brother, my ancestor, to him telling him of the death of their mother at 97 years old. Her name was Francis Foote Powell, and she is the source of many retinitis pigmentosa sufferers here in VA/KY/WVA and OR/WA.
I learned all this through one of my other hobbies- genealogy. I would LOVE to walk this trail some day, knowing my relatives walked/rode the same trail.

Feral Bill
02-26-2011, 02:39
In much of Oregon at least, the trail does not exist on the ground. We followed it along I 84 from Boise to Pendleton last week. Some of the highway is actually on the old trail, other parts roughly parallel. There are probaly parts good for dayhikes but not as a continuous route. Very interesting country as well.