Hiking boots, check. Chocolate for the trail mix, check. Passport, check.

No, it’s not a European backpacking trip.

It’s Washington County’s own newly created nature passport, an information-filled booklet designed to lead people around 16 sites, including Stub Stewart State Park, Fernhill Wetlands, Hagg Lake, the Tillamook Forest Center, the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals and more.

The Washington County Visitors Association created the free passports to highlight the county’s great outdoor destinations, according to Sylke Neal-Finnegan, director of marketing and communications at WCVA.

Wildlife and plant listings, site descriptions and photos accompany each entry. Users can get their passports stamped at each site’s information center or make a tree or leaf rubbing for areas without centers.

While a completed passport can’t be cashed in for anything, it’s a gimmick that can help structure summer activities for children and adults who could use it for “bragging rights” about their countywide travels, Neal-Finnegan said.

Passports are a common marketing tool, and WCVA staff embraced the idea a year ago, releasing the finished product in March.

Order your free passports at or call 503-644-5555 to find a nearby location where you can pick them up.

— Kate Stringer

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