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Interpretive signs add historic and ecological perspective to new hiking trail experience

Categories: Inside Meadows Media Center Guest Connection

Patrol and trail crew install the Forest Ecology interpretive sign along a hiking trail at Mt. Hood MeadowsThis week, seven interpretive signs were placed along newly constructed hiking trails at Mt. Hood Meadows. The signs provide hikers insight and perspective on the mountain environment, forest ecology and history of the area.

“The information on these signs enhance the intimate walk with nature our new hiking trails provide,” says VP of Sales and Marketing Dave Tragethon. “It provides hikers something to ponder while they wander to create an even greater sense of where we fit in and fosters a greater appreciation for this mountain environment.”

The signs are placed in the base area (History of Mt. Hood, Wildlife, History of Mt. Hood Meadows), along the Bear Grass Trail (Wetlands), and near the top of the Stadium chairlift (Fire Ecology, Glaciers, Volcanology). Tragethon says the stories are wide-ranging. “This is a true real-time learning experience about the significance of wetlands, the effect climate change is having on our glaciers, why forest fires are an essential part of the mountain ecosystem and what wildlife you have a good chance of encountering while hiking. We feel presenting this information in the moment will be impactful and make those visiting think a little more about the nature of our mountain.”

The interpretive sign project received a Travel Oregon Destination Ready Grant with the help of the Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge Regional Tourism Alliance. The grant program was established to direct investment and technical assistance for the development, enhancement and stewardship of key visitor experiences that are COVID-19 appropriate, aid in economic recovery, enhance local livability and provide access to a diversity of explorers. The content on the signs was developed by Meadows team members, with assistance from Mt. Hood National Forest biologists, and designed by the Meadows marketing team.

An eighth sign depicting the history and relationship of the Warm Springs Tribe with the mountain is in production and will be added to the hiking trails when completed.

Mt. Hood Meadows continues summer operations Thursdays through Mondays with the Stadium scenic chair operating from 10 AM - 5 PM (and until 7 PM Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays). The hiking trails and interpretive sign experience can be accessed without riding the scenic chair.

Summer Operational Schedule