Estacada is a historic city, having been incorporated way back in 1905. It was around even before that, as workers building the hydroelectric dam on the nearby Clackamas River camped here. As you might imagine, Estacada offers a lot of history, and it’s been memorialized in a unique way with the creation of more than 20 murals on buildings throughout the community.
The Artback Artists Cooperative program first started in 1992 when a group of local artists created the first mural. The response was so resoundingly positive that they quickly realized they had something special going on and started adding a new mural each year.
Each one has a different theme, highlighting the town’s heritage, like Indigenous American history or its logging background. A mural celebrating the Barlow Road section of the Oregon Trail that went through Estacada is in the process of being restored and will be relocated to nearby Philip Foster Farm if all goes well.
The murals allow visitors truly connect with the town in a much more authentic manner. Plus, while strolling the streets looking at the artwork, visitors can take the opportunity to sample some craft beer at Fearless Brewing. They say the beer is so good because it’s brewed from the magical waters of the Clackamas River. Looking to try a variety of beers? Clackamas River Growlers has over 32 taps of beer and cider.
Of course the Clackamas River is good for things other than making excellent beer. It’s also known as one of the best whitewater rafting locations out there, which is pretty exciting considering it's also the closest whitewater to Portland and the Portland International Airport.
Please note: Access to the upper Clackamas River is limited due to recovery efforts from the 2020 Riverside Fire.
Prefer to keep your feet on dry land? Check out Milo McIver State Park with year-round hiking and a 27 hole disc golf course. Visit Oregon State Parks' Milo McIver page for complete info and to make sure the activities you want to do are open.