If you're doing a project on Oregon, we're here to help with our Oregon facts file.
We've collated a ton of Oregon fun facts to help you with your Oregon trivia. Find out all about the most famous things in Oregon and all the incredible things Oregon is known for.
What animal is featured on Oregon's state flag? What fictional cartoon town was inspired by an Oregon state city? What is the name of the deepest lake in the United States and where is it located? Find out all these cool facts about Oregon and lots more by diving into our fun school project information about Oregon.
Oregon Geography And Nature Facts
Here are some facts all about the geography of Oregon. One of the best things about Oregon is its incredibly diverse landscape and natural beauty. Oregon is one of the most beautiful regions of the United States.
1. The state of Oregon is the ninth largest state in the US with a total area of 98,381 square miles. It's slightly bigger than the United Kingdom.
2. Oregon is made up of eight regions: Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Coast, the Portland Region, Southern Region and Willamette Valley.
3. Oregon spans two time zones, the Mountain Time Zone and the Pacific Time Zone.
4. A 2.4 mile long honey fungus in the Blue Mountains of Oregon is thought to be the world's largest living organism!
5. The Columbia River forms almost the whole border between Washington and Oregon. The Columbia River is 1,243 miles long and is the seventh longest lake in North America. The lake measures up to 300 feet deep in Oregon.
6. Crater Lake in Klamath County is the deepest lake in the United States. It was formed when the volcano Mount Mazama exploded and collapsed around 7,700 years ago, leaving behind a huge crater called a caldera.
7. Crater Lake fills almost all of this 2,148 feet-deep caldera. Crater Lake is famed for its crystal blue waters, and is the third deepest lake in the world.
8. Crater Lake is one of the clearest and most pristine lakes in the world because all of its water comes directly from rain and snowfall. The lake has its own islands formed from volcanic rock.
9. Rising 750 feet above the water, Wizard Island is the biggest island in the lake while Phantom Ship Island, which resembles a sailboat, is as tall as a 16 storey building.
10. Oregon is home to Hell's Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. Hell's Canyon is 10 miles wide and is 7,993 feet deep. It is deeper than the Grand Canyon and was carved out by the waters of Snake River.
11. The hazelnut is the official state nut of Oregon.
12. Oregon's state animal is the beaver, and Oregon's nickname is the Beaver State due to the abundance of beavers in the region. The beaver even features on the Oregon state flag.
13. By the mid 19th century beavers were almost extinct in the region due to over-trapping to make hats and coats.
14. It is still legal to hunt and trap beavers even though they are the state animal, although they have been saved from the brink of extinction as few people hunt them these days.
15. The Oregon state bird and flower are the Western Meadowlark and the Oregon Grape. The leaves of the Oregon Grape are spiky like those of the holly and the plant has pretty yellow flowers in summer and a dark blue berry in fall. Oregonians make jelly from this fruit and make a yellow dye from the roots and stems of the plant. The root of the Oregon state plant also has medicinal properties.
16. The pear is the official state fruit.
17. Oregon is very diverse geographically, with three of the highest mountain peaks in the United States, rainforest regions, 300 miles of coastline and desert and wilderness areas.
18. The Oregon Badlands Wilderness is a 29,301 acre wild zone barely touched by humanity.
19. Oregon boasts the largest connected system of sea caves and caverns in the USA.
20. The Oregon Caves National Monument is a 4,554 acre park in southwestern Oregon. The Oregon Caves is a several million year old solid marble cave discovered in 1874.
21. Mount Hood is the second most climbed mountain in the world, and can be seen from miles around. It is open as a ski resort all year round and boasts 11 glaciers and several crystal clear alpine lakes.
22. Oregon has 256 ghost towns, or abandoned towns. It is the state with the most ghost towns in the USA. Many of these settlements were former mining or lumbar towns from the Pioneer times.
Oregon History Facts
Find out all about Oregon and its rich past with our historical facts about Oregon.
23. Oregon has been inhabited by humans for around 15,000 years. Several pairs of sandals found preserved under volcanic ash in Fort Rock Cave prove that humans were in the area between 9,000 and 13,000 years ago.
24. DNA from fossilized human faeces found in Oregon's Paisley Caves has been dated to 14,300 years ago.
25. By 8000 BC there were many settlements throughout Oregon, mainly along the Columbia River, near the coastline and in the western valleys.
26. In prehistoric times the Willamette Valley was flooded by a glacial dam collapse which left it up to 400 feet underwater.
27. By the time the Europeans reached Oregon in the 16th century, Oregon was home to at least 14 different Native American groups.
28. The famous Oregon Trail was a 2,170 mile wagon route from Independence, Missouri to Oregon. The route passed through five states: Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho and Wyoming, and ended up by the Willamette River in Oregon.
29. Around 400,000 emigrants traveled this route in search of better opportunities in Oregon. The trip from Missouri to the Willamette Valley, Oregon, took about four months.
30. The Oregon Trail was not for the faint hearted! Pioneer families would walk the 2000 mile journey alongside the wagons and many people died along the way. Disease was rife among the travelers, with cholera, dysentery, tick-borne fever, smallpox and mere exhaustion claiming hundreds of victims.
31. Overhunting along the trail meant that people had to bring their own food to last them the entire journey. A typical meal would include bacon, coffee, beans and a simple pancake made out of flour and water fried in bacon fat.
32. There is an Oregon Trail computer game that can be played online. Developed in the '70s, the game requires players to prepare rations for their trip and make the sort of life and death decisions en route that pioneers would have been faced with back in the 1900s.
33. Oregon joined the Union on 14 February 1859, making Oregon's birthday Valentines Day!
Oregon Culture Fun Facts
Top up your knowledge of Oregon culture facts with our interesting facts about Oregon cultural life.
34. There is a leprechaun colony in Portland! The world's tiniest park, Mills End Park, is apparently home to a community of invisible leprechauns.
35. Oregon has its own mushroom festival called the Estacada Festival of the Fungus.
36. Portland is bike city! There are more cyclists per capita in Portland than any other city in the United States.
37. A fun trivia fact about Oregon is that it's home to the world's tallest barber shop pole measuring 72 feet!
38. A crazy fact about the Beaver State is that it's against the law to eat ice cream on a Sunday there, seriously!
39. Did you know that it is against the law not to have your shoelaces tied when walking the streets of Portland? Yes, there is an official law in Portland outlawing undone laces!
40. Portland is home to the world's smallest park! The Mill’s End Park consists of one tree and measures just two feet across!
41. Famous Oregonians include River Phoenix, the child actor, and Matt Groening, the creator of 'The Simpsons'.
42. 'The Simpsons' is set in Oregon! One of the best Oregon facts for kids is that the fictional town of Springfield is partly inspired by Groening's hometown of Portland, Oregon.
43. There have been many iconic movies shot in Oregon. Cult movies filmed there include 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest', 'Free Willy' and 'The Shining'.
44. Carolyn Davidson invented the Nike swoosh while a student at the Portland State University. The multinational sportswear company's headquarters is based in Beaverton, Oregon.
45. One of the oldest collegiate buildings in the Western United States is situated in Forest Grove. It now forms part of Pacific University.
46. Popular tourist attractions include the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Portland Art Museum, and one of the oldest zoos in America, the Oregon Zoo.
47. Oregon has a 23 acre aquarium on the coastline of Newport.
49. The state has the largest cheese factory in the entire world.
50. It's also a state law that motorists can't fill their own vehicles with gas, so there are no self serve gas stations in the state.
51. Oregon boasts 11 lighthouses. Heceta Head Lighthouse is the brightest light on the Oregon coastline and is the most photographed lighthouse in the United States.
52. Nine lighthouses are open to the public and five are still possible to climb to the top of.
53. The state flag is the only state flag in the US to have a different design on each side. The Oregon flag has a gold beaver on one side and a shield on the other.
54. Apparently, there is buried pirate treasure on Neahkahnie Mountain! None has ever been found, however.
55. In North Bend, Oregon, wooden coins were legal tender during the Great Depression. You can still use them in shops there today, although the coins are so collectable no one wants to spend them.
56. The University of Oregon's official mascot is a duck based on Donald Duck.
57. The Salem capitol building has burned down twice. The second was apparently a spontaneous combustion!
58. Six people picnicking were blown up by Japanese balloon bombs in Oregon during WWII. They were the only people killed on continental US soil due to combat during WWII.
59. Reed College in Portland has a nuclear reactor run by undergraduates!
60. There is no VAT in Oregon, so everyone can enjoy tax-free shopping.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully curated lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our fun facts about Oregon for school projects then why not take a look at these fascinating Greenland facts, or our interesting facts about Bolivia?
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