Adventure Activities in Portland - Try if You Dare

Adventure Activity Portland

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Portland, Ore. is where I was born and raised. It is a playground for the environmentally friendly and the ecologically conscious. It is also a place full of daring activities. In Portland, we aren't afraid to swim in our raging rivers and climb our perilous mountains. Because I have experienced one after another adventure activity in Portland and its outlying regions, I can say with confidence that there are things here you have never seen or done before. So if you're a first-timer excitedly planning Portland travel adventures, here are a few to add to your list. I dare you to try them all!

1. Voodoo Doughnuts is a Portland original. This is the only place where you can find a bacon doughnut, and your baker's dozen comes in a bucket, not a box (boxes are available for those who can't handle change). There are various locations, but the original is located downtown just off the Burnside Bridge. Look for the red door, and prepare your stomach for the first of many Portland travel adventures.

Voodoo Doughnuts, 22 SW Third Ave, Portland, OR 97204; 503-241-4704; all stores open 24 hours, 7 days a week; Cash only, ATMs available

2. If you've ever heard of a runner's high, you may have heard of the Hood to Coast Relay. This might be one of the most daring activities you'll find in Portland. Every year our crazy and overly athletic locals grab their bikes, don their running shoes, climb Mt. Hood to Timberline Lodge and then relay a whopping 197 miles to the city of Seaside located on the Oregon coast. Registration must be made early, but anyone can join a team or make a team of their own. I dare you to make it 197 miles!

Hood to Coast Relay, 5319 SW Westgate Dr #262, Portland, OR 97221; 503-292-4626; Team cost $1320

3. Paintballing is a hugely popular adventure activity in Portland. With so much open forest throughout the region, the possibilities are nearly endless – you can go anywhere there is state-owned public land. For the inexperienced, or those who don't have their own equipment, there are quite a few fields where you can rent guns for the day. Paintball Island in Canby, OR, just south of Portland, offers a great experience for the novice. They offer private parties for groups of 20 or more, anyone over 12 can play, and they have professional referees for all of their games.

Paintball Island, Pat's Acre, 6255 Arndt Rd SW, Canby, OR 97002; 503-309-9900; Sat-Sun 9:45AM-2PM; Reservations required

4. Portland International Raceway, also called PDX, offers visitors the opportunity to get behind the wheel, another of the more daring activities you'll find in Portland. There are Les Swab late night drags as well as pro driving classes. In these intense classes, professional instructors will take you out on the track and teach you how to drive in extreme conditions. Look out – they might even yank the e-break on you while you're going 50 mph, just to see how you handle the spin.

Portland International Raceway, West Delta Park, 1940 N Victory Blvd, Portland, OR 97217; 503-823-7223; Times and prices vary

5. Conclude your Portland travel adventures with an attempt at dragon boat racing. This sport is a rather recent development in Portland, but it has a fierce following. The heavily physical form of rowing takes you back to Viking days, where a drummer beat to the rhythm of your rowing to keep the team on track. The Double Fifth will give you the opportunity to try your hand at this almost extreme sport. They will set you up with the equipment you need, and even connect you with a team.

Double Fifth Dragon Racing, 13023 NE Hwy 99, Ste 7, Box 234, Vancouver, WA 98686; 877-872-3211, 971-222-3679; Rates depend on services; Times vary

To find another adventure activity in Portland that you've never experienced, simply walk down the street! There is something new to try wherever you go, as long as you can bring yourself to take that first step. I hope these ideas provide a great start to your daring Portland vacation.
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