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BLUE MOUNTAINS TRAIL CASE STUDY

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The Blue Mountains Trail is a 530-mile long-distance hiking route through northeastern Oregon.

Overview

Project: Blue Mountains Trail Development

Scope: During my outreach to different Oregon communities for the Oregon Desert Trail, I began a conversation with the Greater Hells Canyon Council about their interest in developing the Blue Mountains Trail to engage the recreation community in environmental issues unique to their region. Using the Oregon Desert Trail as a template, I volunteered to guide the organization in the development of this new route. I volunteered to be the first solo hiker to ground-truth the alignment in 2020, designed the trail logo in 2021, assisted in PR work in 2023, and continue to serve on the Blue Mountains Trail Committee to advise ongoing efforts.

Project Details

Process: In 2016, I hiked/packrafted the entire 750-mile route to determine the best direction for the trail's development. Since then my work has included:

  • Establishing the trail and its surrounding landscapes as valuable economic, recreational, and social assets for communities along the route.

  • Raising public awareness about the high desert by connecting people with the Oregon Desert Trail and its landscapes.

  • Continuously refining the trail route.

  • Engaging hikers in ONDA’s conservation and stewardship efforts.

  • Researching and securing additional funding for the Oregon Desert Trail program.

  • Organizing stewardship trips along the trail corridor.

  • Building strong partnerships with leaders from land management agencies.

Impact: The Oregon Desert Trail attracts hundreds of hikers each year, with over 70 having completed the entire 750-mile route. These hikers regularly engage with ONDA on conservation issues affecting landscapes along the trail.

I created new and redesigned existing trail resources including maps, a guidebook, a databook/water chart, water cache guidelines and maps, GPS waypoints and tracks, a town and services guide, and multi-sport options for biking, paddling, equestrians, and snow travel.

I have delivered over 100 presentations to more than 5,000 people. The Oregon Desert Trail has been featured in media outlets such as Patagonia, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Oregon Field Guide, among others in the news and outdoor industry.

I led over 15 stewardship trail maintenance trips along the route with more than 100 volunteers, contributing over 2,000 hours. These efforts were in collaboration with agency partners to address deferred trail maintenance.

Testimonials

"Taking on a project with the breadth of the Blue Mountains Trail takes a lot of help, and I've been so lucky to have the guidance, support and camaraderie of Renee Patrick for this effort. She not only helped me build the tools for the trail, she even hiked the rough draft version and continues to advocate for and positively impact our work."

 

Jared Kennedy

Blue Mountains Trail Lead

Greater Hells Canyon Council

Want to discuss how I can help your organization create innovative solutions?

Book a 30-minute meeting today.

 

By working with me, you are not only accessing 20+ years of long-distance trail hiking and professional experience but you will be connected to my network of long-distance hiking and outdoor industry professionals so I can find the right people or services for your needs.

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