Friends of the Columbia Gorge is a nonprofit organization that serves to protect the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most popular outdoor destinations. The group helped to pass the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act in 1986—a federal act that provides protection for almost 40,000 acres of natural habitat in Washington and Oregon—and established a land trust in 2005 devoted to acquiring land in the Gorge and retaining its natural spaces.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge hosts a website that discusses the Gorge and their efforts to preserve it. They also detail hiking opportunities in the area, with information about trails and maps that identify landmarks throughout the expansive Gorge. A hike-planning tool is available to hikers that browse the website, a free service for hikers planning to trek the Gorge.
There are several hike leaders and events associated with Friends of the Columbia Gorge, in addition to mailing lists Portland hikers may join. This group makes it easy to keep in touch with fellow hikers and to keep abreast of group hikes in the Gorge and friendly gatherings among members.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge has a lot of information on the Gorge and the efforts taken to preserve it, so be sure to read up on their efforts and find out ways to assist in their efforts. In addition to feeling engaged with a communities of hikers, helping out Friends of the Columbia Gorge will assure the protection of the Pacific Northwest’s premier hiking area.