At seemingly random intervals, the sudden barrage of paintballs overpowers the sound of a nearby river rushing by. With faces hidden behind protective masks, paintballers slink through the lush green forest of Sandy, striking enemies and taking cover in the underbrush. This is how the purveyors envisioned their field of play at BullRun Battlefields: realistic combat scenarios taking place in the lush outdoors. And this is what they achieved. With two woodsball fields comprising 8 acres of playable area, they can accommodate large groups for all-day outings. Renting top-notch equipment such as semiautomatic markers, camo jackets, and protective gear, the team suits up all gamers for an adrenaline-fueled day of strategizing and shimmying through the obstacles of the playing fields.
At Natural High Rafting, they lead guided rafting and fishing trips on more than 12 of Oregon’s scenic and coastal rivers, including the Deschutes and Clackamas. The fishing trips also seek out fish by species, often encountering monsters such as steelhead, trout, and coho and chinook salmon.
Mt. Hood Adventure has been guiding visitors for nearly 10 years around the area of the scenic Mount Hood National Forest. Their experience and knowledge was enough for The Oregonian to deem them “The leading recreational outfitter guide service in the Mt. Hood National Forest.” Led by Greg "Chopper" Moreno, the guides at Mt. Hood Adventure introduce tourgoers to the animals, plant-life, geology, and really pretty sections of the mountain. Chopper and his team take patrons on summertime canoe trips, mountain-biking excursions, horseback riding, hiking, and more. Once snow covers the mountain's face, trips take a more winter-friendly turn, with snowshoeing outings and snowmobiling adventures.
Once visitors finish up with their excursion, they can take advantage of the nearby Mt. Hood Skibowl winter and summer resort. There they can enjoy warm-weather activities such as zip lining, kayaking, and rock climbing, along with winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing.
Danita Rigert has spent more than 19 years teaching gymnastics to boys and girls of all ages—many of whom went on to win state championship titles. At Rigert Elite Gymnastics, Danita and her staff of coaches teach youngsters of all experience levels in gymnastics, ballet, and cheer classes and lead competitive boys' and girls' teams. The gym is packed with professional equipment, including a 40-foot tumble track and an above-ground pit.
At Stone Free Climbing, rock climbing isn't an indoor sport. The company's experienced guides lead day and weekend trips to natural rock formations, such as Smith National Park's volcanic tuft. Each trip accommodates new and seasoned climbers alike, and adventurers can leave their suction clogs at home since all necessary gear is provided. To prep ambitious scalers for solo jaunts, the Stone Free Climbing experts also lead mountain navigation courses, teaching students to use GPS equipment, find routes, and read topographical maps.
The lifetime anglers and sturgeon wranglers at Sky's Guide Service cast their nets over the fish-packed purses of Portland, steering rodman recruits and seasoned reelers toward the perfect catch. Check the species calendar and choose a salmon or sturgeon adventure. From March until May, up to six passengers can set sail on a sturdy custom Willie Raptor jet sled down the Columbia or Willamette River, where a school of coveted spring Chinook salmon recite their last rites. Known as the world's most prized eating salmon, these floppy fortresses of sweet meat pack enough omega-3 fatty acids to make the human heart grow a chamber orchestra in its left ventricle. Continuing into April, sturgeon kidnappers chart the waters to corral these gigantic, delicious aquamonsters into their unmarked vans. Sturgeon are excellent fighters with brave appetites, working in packs to chomp five rods at the same time when they're not busy driving buffets out of business.