OREGON’S GROVE OF THE STATES
By Linda Kissam “Food, Wine & Shopping Diva”
Rest stops are a must when traveling with a dog. This one gets our vote as one of the nicest in the US.
Oregon’s Grove of the States is located at the French Prairie Rest Area (southbound I-5 at Milepost 281), near Wilsonville, Woodburn Company Stores and the National Historic Districts of Aurora and Champoeg. The Grove is believed to be the oldest arboretum of state trees in the US and was originally a collection of trees from 53 US states and territories. As you walk the clean well maintained paths, each tree has a plaque identifying its name and state. The Grove was the brainchild of former Oregon Attorney General Robert Thornton in the mid-1960s as a way to honor Lady Bird Johnson’s Highway Beautification Act.
Encompassing 40 acres on each side of the interstate, French Prairie is the largest rest area in the state. It was constructed in 1966, and was an used for staging military operations during the Cold War era. Today, along with the beautiful trees that are part of a special restoration project, there’s a pet exercise area, solar station viewing area, and native plant gardens.
Who knew rest stops could be so fabulous? Nice going Oregon.
Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Follow her Pacific Northwest adventures at https://www.pnwtourist.com/