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Willamette Falls Panorama
Ithaca Janzen | 04/08/2021 | Oregon City

Things To Do: Oregon City

eNRG Kayaking, Paddleboarding Instructor & Student

Oregon City is a hub for both history and adventure. Located along the Willamette River and Willamette Falls, water recreation opportunities abound. Rent a kayak or SUP stand-up paddleboard (SUP) from eNRG Kayaking and explore the Willamette River, or take one of their guided tours along the banks of Oregon City to the base of stunning Willamette Falls. For a more laidback river cruise, Willamette Falls Electric Boat Company lets you be the captain of your own vessel with electric Duffy boat rentals. Pick up some food from nearby Corner 14 food cart pod and make it a picnic on the water!

If you're looking for terrestrial adventure, head to Canemah Bluff Natural Area. This urban oasis is a haven for wildlife and summer wildflowers. A network of paths leads through oak forest and along the bluff, with views of the Willamette River. For more hiking and biking trails, check out the Oregon City Walking & Biking Map for urban, river and countryside where you can stroll or pedal. 

Young female with long braid dressed in pioneer dress and apron standing by miniature covered wagon filled with books

Did you know that Oregon City is the official end of the Oregon Trail? Discover hands-n pioneer history at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, and learn more about Oregon’s past at the Museum of the Oregon Territory. Some of the first houses built by early pioneer settlers in Oregon are located in Oregon City and have been preserved as heritage homes that the public can visit. Catch remnants of Oregon City’s industrial history including the Oregon City municipal elevator, a “vertical main street” connecting the upper and lower areas of the city (and a way around what would otherwise be 722 steps up the cliffside!). Ask the elevator operator for an Oregon City Field Guide to map out your adventure.

Mt. Hood Willamette Falls I 205

Whether you’re on the river or in the city, Willamette Falls is a majestic focal point for Oregon City, and has been an important part of Oregon’s history since time immemorial. Popular viewpoints for Willamette Falls include the McLoughlin Promenade at the top of the elevator, or park at the viewpoint pull-out along Hwy 99E.

Just outside Oregon City, river views change to lush farmland. Explore the wineries near Oregon City for a relaxing afternoon of wine tasting. Chat with the winemakers at the cozy tasting rooms of Christopher Bridge Wines and King’s Raven Winery. Learn about permaculture practices at Forest Edge, and enjoy the expansive gardens at Villa Catalana Winery.

Christopher Bridge Wines Tasting Room Deck

Ithaca enjoys camping, hiking, local craft beer or just hanging out at home with her pet hedgehog, Hazel. Her role at Mt. Hood Territory includes coordinating the Tap Trail and Wine Trail and creating inspirational travel content.

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