Our Mission

Advocating for Oregon’s Trails

Trailkeepers of Oregon (TKO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and enhance the Oregon hiking experience through stewardship, advocacy, outreach and education.

Our organization was born out of the Portland Hikers Forum, a community forum for hiking enthusiasts that was established in 2006, and has now grown to become the Oregon Hikers Forum, TKO’s free, online community for hikers. As the original forum grew, a user-built field guide was created and has now grown to become the Oregon Hikers Field Guide, a free online resource hosted by TKO and maintained by dozens of volunteer authors.

Early on, the many volunteers behind the original hiking forum and field guide saw that many of our trails are at risk and in need of active champions and engaged stewards to advocate for them: TKO was formed by the forum community in the fall of 2007  to address these concerns.

Today TKO organizes and leads trail advocacy efforts and volunteer trail maintenance activities. Currently, TKO activities are centered around the greater Portland region, but we are gradually expanding our footprint to serve the entire state. TKO also hosts the Oregon Hikers Forum and the Oregon Hikers Field Guide as part of our continuing outreach and education efforts.

TKO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to trail stewardship, advocacy and education in Oregon.

Our Mission

Inspiring action for the protection and enhancement of the Oregon hiking experience through advocacy, stewardship, outreach and education.


The heart of TKO’s mission is our effort to build, restore and maintain hiking trails across the state, including:

  • Trail maintenance: continuing efforts to provide routine maintenance to existing trails
  • Trail restoration: special efforts to restore old trails lost to lack of maintenance
  • New trail construction: funding, planning and construction of new trails in cooperation with land management agencies and private land owners


TKO is actively committed to promoting hikers’ interests in Oregon by:

  • Representing hikers when advocating to state and federal agencies, elected officials and other organizations that impact the hiking experience
  • Raising funds from public and private sources for the preservation and expansion of Oregon’s trail system
  • Protecting hiking opportunities by tracking and prioritizing trail needs across the state, then building comprehensive strategies to address these needs
  • Advocate for a range of trails and hiking experiences that are accessible and available to all people, regardless of income level, ethnicity, gender, ability or age.
  • Ensure that access to trails is provided on an equitable basis to all communities served by public agencies under the principle that it is a right, not just a privilege, for people to have safe healthful access to their public lands.

Outreach and Education:

We promote hiking as an activity that creates healthy Oregonians and fosters ownership and conservation of our public lands:

  • Encouraging stewardship as a responsibility for every trail user
  • Building an infrastructure to connect volunteers with stewardship opportunities statewide
  • Partnering with, consulting with and supporting like-minded outdoor organizations
  • Teaching the health benefits of connecting with the outdoor world
  • Educating hikers on trail ethics, safety and conservation of our public lands
  • Conducting training and certifying volunteers for trail work
  • Preserving the history of foot trails and hikers in the State of Oregon
  • Communicating news, issues and events
  • Sharing the hiking experience with traditionally under-represented communities

Our Strategic Plan

TKO is committed to carrying out our mission through our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan

Learn more about how to get involved!

Would you like to be part of TKO’s mission? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator for more information on how you can help make a difference.

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