OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

News & Press

  • Rest Area sealant and upgrades cause temporary closures

    Pavement contractor work will reroute traffic and close supervisor offices at two locations

    Rest area closures and re-routes you need to know about:
    (1) French Prairie Rest Area southbound on I-5 (near Wilsonville): chip sealing to the front parking lot, traffic will be re-routed to the back parking and restroom building area, and the OTE rest area supervisor office will be closed (although the rest area remains open) today, Monday, July 28th …

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  • Highway Business Sign Proposed Rule Revisions and Public Hearing Image of Oregon Travel Experience Highway Business Sign

    Sign customer rates may change if approved by Council

    Oregon Travel Experience is proposing a revision to its current permit fee schedule for all of our Highway Business Sign Customers, and how we go about determining a fair price for your signs.
    OTE has maintained the program with a lower than national average fee for all categories of signs since 1972. Program fees have followed a three-category schedule based on sign location, …

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  • A lost tree gives new life Image of Doug Grafe and newly elected Chair of the Oregon Heritage Committee Roger Brandt, unload milled lumber from the Barlow Tollgate Maple

    Barlow Tollgate Road Maple Heritage Tree lives on

    At its recent July meeting, OTE’s Oregon Heritage Tree Program Committee members participated in several special actions.
    Committee member Doug Grafe, Fire Protection Deputy Chief with the Oregon Department of Forestry, unveiled a labor of love: a memorial tribute bench made from the gnarly wood of a former heritage tree.
    In 2011 a pair of Oregon Heritage Trees gracing US Hwy 26 suffered a major …

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  • Council Member Spotlight – Mike Drennan Mike Drennan

    Prelude to a conversation

    Not far from the outskirts of Corvallis, Oregon, Hwy 99 runs through the heart of the Willamette Valley. Wheat on both sides of the roadway is knee high and gold heads curve downward in gentle arcs. Whirling dust devils resemble small tornadoes as they spiral across recently harvested fields.
    Turning onto the Applegate Trail Highway, tractors bumble along as my car passes by, winding through miles of leafy …

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  • Northbound French Prairie Rest Area repairs and detours

    Free Coffee Program and OTE Rest Area Supervisor Office closed for three day period

    On Wednesday, July 9th, northbound French Prairie Rest Area (on I-5 at Milepost 281) services will be limited. Sealant will be applied to both commercial truck and passenger vehicle parking lots, and traffic will be diverted to the back parking lot and restrooms.
    The OTE rest area supervisor office will remain closed, and free coffee will not be …

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Oregon Travel Information Council

Oregon Travel Experience’s governing body is known as the Oregon Travel Information Council in Oregon Statute. Ten members are appointed by the governor and one position represents the Oregon Transportation Commission. Their mission is to create a great visitor experience by providing directions to destinations, connecting travelers with Oregon’s resources, and ensuring safe and convenient travel. Find out when our governing council will meet next or review minutes from the last meeting.

Rest areas do more than revive

visitorsIf you are going to be on an Oregon highway or byway this summer, you might be curious about some of the more un-known features at our rest areas. We’ve had recent email from prospective visitors who wondered if they could sleep or set up BBQs at an Oregon rest area. Surprisingly, we have a number of rules and regulations that allow for both family and pets to have a good time when stopping. We want you to be safe, so please, don’t let weariness get to you and alter your Oregon experience. Check out some hidden gems and our rest area FAQs.

OTE expands sustainable practices

Barry Reed cleans fresh grout

Barry Reed cleans fresh grout

Would it surprise you to find out that OTE is actually mandated by the State of Oregon to “preserve the natural beauty and aesthetic features of rest areas?”

As part of our mission, we’re always on the lookout for sustainable products and ways to help conserve Oregon’s natural resources. Recently, the rest area team at Government Camp installed new water-free fixtures to help conserve our state’s water supply. Check out the story and photo gallery.

 OTE’s skilled team is ready to serve you


All of us at OTE are committed to making your Oregon highway experience a great one. From the men and women ensuring your safety at our rest areas to the people helping you navigate a highway logo sign application, OTE employees agree that customers come first.

We know what it’s like to be on the other end and traveling with our family or friends–you want where you stop to be clean and safe, and you want to find your way easily without having to search for the information. And, you expect to have a great time.

It’s a big road out there and we’re here to help. If you would like to learn more about us, our bios are posted on the OTE staff page.

Program Quick Links

The following links connect you to our main programs:

Highway Business Signs: A cost effective tool for local businesses to gain exposure along busy highways. Blue logo signs direct motorists to essential services and nearby attractions.

Rest Areas: Oregon Travel Experience supervises 20 rest areas across the state. Stop and rest, walk the dog and let the kids jump and run. See where Oregon Travel Experience’s rest areas are located and why we take your safety seriously.

Free Coffee Program: The Highway Safety Rest Area Free Coffee Program helps save lives by decreasing driver fatigue. This program is permitted by OTE and run by volunteer non-profit groups. Want to serve? For immediate information about this program, telephone 503-373-0155.

Sales Programs: From Travel Information Kiosks to TripCheck.com, Oregon Travel Experience connects you with the latest traveler information. Both businesses and motorists benefit from exposure in our travel information centers. If you want fast information about panels or brochure placement, telephone 503-373-0155.

Heritage Trees: Want to learn more about these spectacular beauties? Come visit our map and detail pages and listen to an audio tour.

Historical Markers: A venerable program handed down through the generations, Oregon’s historical markers can be the focus of a weekend family outing.

Places to Stop: Use your mobile device and check out these hidden gems. Our highway sign customers run some of the most unique businesses in Oregon. These Sunday-living styled articles can help you find the perfect place to stay, eat, or have fun.

OTE's 2012 Annual report to the Oregon Legislature

Our 2012 legislative annual report is actually a short video. We thought that reducing paper mass was a good step towards sustainable practices. If you want to learn more about why OTE was formed in 1972, some cool facts about Lady Bird Johnson's connection to our mission and how our programs work, zip on over to the movie. It's more fun than wading through 50 dry pages of division reports... we promise.

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Go on a Field Trip with OTE

It's as easy as one, two, three... just click on the Field Trip icon above, and download the app for free. It's available for Android or iOS platforms. Receive push notifications about OTE's heritage sites when you're on the road, bike, or taking a hike through your favorite Oregon city or town.