The most northeastern suburb of Portland, the town of Troutdale, Oregon is a much more rural setting, but that doesn’t mean it lacks many great things to do. Both tourists and locals alike can find plenty to occupy their time, whether they enjoy shopping, eating at local restaurants, exploring museums, or getting out into nature. In fact, this quiet town is near one of the most picturesque and scenic areas of the country: the Columbia River Gorge and the Shepperd's Dell State Natural Area, offering amazing views of the natural beauty and waterfalls.
1.Columbia River Highway
© Gary L. Quay/stock.adobe.com
The oldest scenic highway in the United States, the Columbia River Highway was designated as one of the country’s National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks in 1984 and later as a National Historic Landmark in 2000 for being "an outstanding example of modern highway development.” The Columbia River is also one of the grandest rivers in North America and is at its best at the Columbia River Gorge, cloaked in ferns and firs, framed by sheer basalt walls, and accented by crashing waterfalls. Established as the second of the country’s National Scenic Areas, the Columbia River Gorge is part of Oregon’s “7 Wonders.”
2.Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint
The Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint offers a breathtaking vista of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge and is one of the area’s best spots for taking in the view of one of the world’s most beautiful places. The viewpoint is a popular spot for photographs with the gorge and Vista House and is also one of the best places to start a day full of fun, discovery, and adventure just outside of the charming town of Troutdale, Oregon and explore the natural beauty of the region. The Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint is open from 6:00am until 9:00pm.
39210 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, Phone: 800-551-6949
© Harris Shiffman/stock.adobe.com
The Multnomah Falls is located just to the east outside of Troutdale, between the towns of Dodson and Corbett, Oregon. The waterfall can be found in the scenic Columbia River Gorge along the Multnomah Creek, and can be reached by Interstate 84 or the Historic Columbia River Highway. The Multnomah Falls spans across two tiers over basalt cliffs and is the state’s tallest waterfall, measuring more than six hundred feet in height. In 1925, a lodge, viewing bridge, and pathway were built by Simon Benson on the land surrounding the waterfall and are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah County, OR
4.Caswell Sculpture Gallery
© Caswell Sculpture Gallery
The Caswell Sculpture Gallery in the small town of Troutdale, Oregon is owned and operated by Alison and Rip Caswell, a husband-wife art team who combine their talents to create beautiful artwork. In addition to their art gallery, their sculptures can also be seen in many private collections, commercial developments, and public spaces throughout the country and beyond. The Caswells have become authorities when it comes to sculpting animals, as well as the human form, with their artwork reflecting the wildlife of the planet and tells the stories of the people who have shaped history, capturing spirit and emotion.
903 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale, OR 97060, Phone: 503-502-7756
5.Shepperd's Dell State Natural Area
© Todd S. Roach/stock.adobe.com
The Shepperd's Dell State Natural Area is home to the small canyon known as Shepperd’s Dell, located within Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge. Back in 1915, George Shepperd, a dairy farm in the area, gave all of his land to Portland, Oregon as a memorial for his wife. Thousands of people today travel the Historic Columbia River Highway to see this gorgeous spot and the roaring, cascading waterfall that flows down the cliffs to Youngs Creek below and on to the Columbia River. The historic highway runs across a bridge over Sehpperd’s Dell, but visitors can take a short trail nearby to the waterfall.
44538 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, Phone: 800-551-6949
6.Glenn Otto Community Park
The most popular of the Troutdale park system’s parks, the Glenn Otto Community Park measures more than six acres and can be reached off of the East Columbia River Highway. It’s bordered by a handful of residential properties, the Beaver Creek along the western side and the Sandy River along the eastern side. Facilities and amenities at the Glenn Otto Community Park include an area for open play, a playground for children, a picnic area, restrooms, riverfront access, a swimming beach, a meeting hall, and the caretaker’s home. Lifeguards are present at the beach area from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
1102 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale, OR 97060, Phone: 503-665-5175
7.The Depot Rail Museum
The Depot Rail Museum of Troutdale, Oregon was constructed back in the year 1907, replacing the original depot that burned down. Railroad service at the depot started in 1882 after a rail line was constructed in what today is the town of Troutdale and further east through the picturesque Columbia River Gorge. Visitors can now learn more about the railroad and Troutdale’s early history at the Depot Rail Museum, which is also home to a Union Pacific CA-10 Caboose from 1975, located just outside of the railroad museum. The museum is open on Fridays from 10:00am until 2:00pm.
473 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale, OR 97060, Phone: 503-661-2164
8.Barn Exhibit Hall
© Barn Exhibit Hall
The Barn Exhibit Hall offers an opportunity for tourists to enhance their “Historic Highway travels” in the Troutdale area of Oregon. The main exhibit, “King of Roads – Byway of the People,” tells the tale of the Historic Columbia River Highway’s construction, preservation, and restoration, highlighting the highway as one of the twentieth century’s great marvels of engineering. The Barn Exhibit Hall was created by John Nasmyth and the Troutdale Historical Society as a place for displaying and storing farm equipment, as well as numerous other artifacts that were donated as part of the history of the town of Troutdale.
732 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale, OR 97060, Phone: 503-661-2164
9.Harlow House Museum
© Harlow House Museum
The Harlow House Museum is housed within a house built back in the year 1900. The home, located on what was then called Harlow Farm, belonged to Fred Harlow, the son of the founder of Troutdale, Captain John Harlow. The Harlow House, and its ground, were purchased by the City in 1979 and the home has remained relatively unchanged since the day it was constructed. The house was sold to be used as a history museum, while the grounds were established as a community public park. The Harlow House has also been noted on the National Register of Historic Places.
726 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale, OR 97060, Phone: 503-661-2164
, Michigan beaches
10.Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins
© Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins
Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins is situated along the banks of Troutdale’s Sandy River, within the beautiful scenic area of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, only around twenty miles outside of the hustle and bustle of Portland. Many of the classic recipes of American fare that were originally written back in the 1950’s and served at Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins are still used today. Guests can enjoy a meal by the restaurant’s original brass bar, by candle light and a fireplace in the dining room, or on the covered patio where they can take in views of the river.
1325 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale, OR 97060, Phone: 503-666-5337
© Riverview Restaurant
The Riverview Restaurant is a locally owned dining establishment in Troutdale, Oregon that was designed specifically to take full advantage of the region’s natural beauty and offer an excellent view of the scenic Sandy River. As part of the restaurant’s unique elements, the mill trees removed on the grounds were used as part of the structure of the building. The Riverview Restaurant uses the best ingredients of the Pacific Northwest region in the dishes it serves, providing guests with a delicious, fresh meal Tuesday to Sunday from 4:30pm until 8:00pm. Happy Hour is offered from 4:00pm until 7:00pm.
29311 SE Stark St., Troutdale, OR 97060, Phone: 503-661-3663
11 Best Things to Do in Troutdale, OR
- Columbia River Highway, Photo: Gary L. Quay/stock.adobe.com
- Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, Photo: edb3_16/stock.adobe.com
- Multnomah Falls, Photo: Harris Shiffman/stock.adobe.com
- Caswell Sculpture Gallery, Photo: Caswell Sculpture Gallery
- Shepperd's Dell State Natural Area, Photo: Todd S. Roach/stock.adobe.com
- Glenn Otto Community Park, Photo: robertuzhbt89/stock.adobe.com
- The Depot Rail Museum, Photo: RG/stock.adobe.com
- Barn Exhibit Hall, Photo: Barn Exhibit Hall
- Harlow House Museum, Photo: Harlow House Museum
- Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins, Photo: Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins
- Riverview Restaurant, Photo: Riverview Restaurant
- Cover Photo: RG/stock.adobe.com