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view of a paved path alongside the Willamette River with a pink and orange sunset going behind trees in the background
Annie Austin | 04/08/2021 | Milwaukie

Things To Do: Milwaukie

Milwaukie is a vibrant city where Main Street meets nature, from 40 million-year-old natural areas and waterfront parks to a vibrant downtown with plenty of new boutique shops and local restaurants moving in and calling this city home. 

Related Content: Shop: Milwaukie

While Milwaukie's downtown is buzzy with new stores and activity, some of the city's most iconic spots are off the main drag, so make sure to explore the entire area. For example, internationally known Bob's Red Mill is actually tucked into Milwaukie's industrial area, where plenty of other food and fun surprises call home.

Related Content: Eat: Milwaukie

See the fun you shouldn't miss below.

1. Milwaukie Bay Park

Milwaukie Bay Park is located on an 8.5 acre site nestled between the Willamette River to the west, Kellogg Creek to the south and Johnson Creek to the north. The park is also conveniently accessed from Milwaukie's downtown, just off McLoughlin Boulevard. The boat dock, trailer parking and other expanded facilities are great for those who love fishing, while the amphitheater style park offers waterfront trails and spots for picnicking and watching special events.

2. Bob's Red Mill Factory Tour

Learn about the wonderful world of stone grinding whole grains on a free guided tour of the Bob's Red Mill manufacturing facility. Their friendly "Grain Guides" provide you with a brief history of how Bob and Charlee Moore championed the goodness of simple, natural whole grains and created a company now employee-owned and respected around the world. 

On this 75 minute tour, you'll watch the action of a working mill as seen through their viewing windows. Everyone leaves with a free sample. Following the tour, you're invited to travel one mile to their Whole Grain Store and Café for lunch and shopping. 

3. Milwaukie Farmers Market

Every Sunday from 9:30am-2pm, May-Oct, you can find over 80 vendors selling produce, a wide variety of prepared foods, cut flowers, plants and countless gift items at the Milwaukie Farmers Market, called the Best of 2012 by the Oregonian. By foot, by bike, by bus, by car — however you come, you can find their busy market at the intersection of Main and Harrison in downtown Milwaukie, direclty across from Milwaukie Bay Park.

4. Hunt for Art

From (literal) street art like the tiled koi on downtown Milwaukie's southside to murals larger than life that paint the sides of entire buildings to a sculpture garden adorning City Hall, Milwaukie is no stranger to Instagrammable art appeal. Find your next must-post all over town.

5. Trolley Trail

The Trolley Trail is a six-mile, multiuse paved and gravel trail connected Milwaukie to Gladstone. This bike and pedestrian route follows the historic Portland Traction Company streetcar right-of-way that ran in the area from 1893 until 1968.

In Oct 2020, a bike repair station was installed along the Trolley Trail in downtown Oak Grove. The repair station includes all the tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance. Screwdrivers, Allen wrenches and box wrenches are provided so that cyclists can change a flat tire, adjust brakes and put air in tires. 

Ultimately, the trail will be part of a continuous 20-mile loop connecting Portland, Milwaukie, Gladstone, Oregon City and Gresham.

6. North Clackamas Aquatic Park

If your kids are water babies, take them to the North Clackamas Aquatic Park. More than just a pool, the park has 400,000 gallons of fun, including water slides and a wave pool that kicks up four-foot waves that the kids will love. Slides vary in their journey from two twisting tubes to a drop slide for the more daring! The water is kept at a perfect 86 degrees year-round, so it's always swimming season.

For the adventurous, they also offer 29-foot rock climbing wall, which as three routes of varying difficulty. Plus, there's a hot tub for those over 18.

7. Elk Rock Island

Elk Rock Island's 13.6 acres of natural area boasts seven distinct habitats, including vernal pools, which many amphibians call home. The seven habitat communities are Willamette River Floodplain, Emergent Wetland, Mesic Upland Forest, Riparian Forest, Cliff Face, Xeric Upland Forest and Willamette Valley Grassland. You can also find more than 50 rare plant species here. 

For much of the year, this place is indeed completely surrounded by water as the name suggests, but when the water is low in the summertime, you can walk to it from Spring Park on a 40 million-year-old land bridge.

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