52 Things to do from the Willamette Valley to the tip of Mt. Hood – all close to Portland, but a world away.
1. Tiptoe through 90 acres of tulips at the month-long, Wooden Shoe Festival. This year marks the 25th anniversary, so bushels of new events are planned. Insider Tip: take the backroads through Monitor and spend your time snapping photos instead of sitting in traffic.
2. Take a self-guided walking tour of Estacada’s monumental murals – so great they even made the National Geographic “Central Cascade” Geotourism map!
3. Savor “Shining” moments at Timberline Lodge and ride Mt. Hood’s Magic Mile chairlift…to ski or just to see the terrain.
4. Track down migratory songbirds as they return to the Nature Conservancy’s Camassia Natural Area in West Linn.
5. Ride the historic Canby ferry across the Willamette River, then find out how sweet the tiny town of Canby can be when you visit local chocolatiers “Puddin’ River” and Lady Bug Chocolates.
6. Ride the Clackamas River’s Classiest rapids during the West Coast’s largest whitewater festival. Held just outside Estacada each May.
7. Learn the fine points of milling stone-ground flour at Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie (PS – Bob’s steelcut oats were proclaimed BEST IN THE WORLD at Scotland’s 2009 Golden Spurtle Competition).
8. Be a cowboy at Molalla’s Wild West Buckeroo or the Ross Coleman Invitational.
9. Ditch the DeLorean when you use your cell phone to tune into Teletales…learn the legend of the “Pow Wow Tree” or the history behind the high flying “Bomber” Restaurant.
10. Pick a crate of juicy berries right out of the field when you explore Oregon Mt. Hood Territory’s numerous U-Pick fields.
11. Spend an evening in Lake Oswego’s Gallery Without Walls. If you’re in town during the city’s famous Festival of the Arts, take in special exhibits and lectures from visiting artists.
12. Stay overnight at an elk ranch and playful petting farm at Rosse Posse Acres.
13. See the oldest city west of the Mississippi after taking High Tea in Oregon City’s haunted Ermatinger House.
14. Learn to snowboard at summer camp when you check in to Windell’s, training ground for the biggest names in snowboarding.
15. Visit the Christmas Tree Capital of the World in Estacada.
16. Ride a river-view vintage trolley to Portland and back. This is great fun during summer months but especially memorable in December when paired with watching the lighted ship parade.
17. Sate your sweet tooth at Joe’s Donuts in Sandy, then drive east for a personal lesson in being a barista at Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company.
18. Ride America’s only outdoor public elevator in downtown Oregon City.
19. Take the high road when you pitch in at the monthly Bagby Hot Springs volunteer weekend. Afterwards take a leisurely soak in enormous cedar log tubs.
20. Splash down at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park, then walk next door to summit the 29-foot climbing wall.
21. Take a blacksmithing class or a watercolor retreat at Mt. Hood’s Arts Cabins.
22. The “Play is the Thing” at the Lakewood Center for the Arts
23. Fly high and sky dive with an instructor at SkyDive Oregon in Molalla
24. Attend the graduation at Guide Dogs for the Blind, and be sure to bring your hankie.
25. Hook up with a Rainbow at a scenic trout pond, visit baby alpacas and tour native plant
nurseries – all on the Sandy Area Farm Loop.
26. See Yanks and Rebs in full regalia reenact the Civil War at McIver State Park in Estacada.
27. Take your pick at the Mt. Hood Huckleberry Festival.
28. Race down an Alpine Slide at the height of summer at Mt. Hood Adventure.
29. Pull into Oregon’s oldest train depot museum when you visit the Canby Depot.
30. Dally in the dahlias and take home a favorite bud at Swan Island Dahlias.
31. Tour four of the Northwest’s finest Wineries when you visit St. Josef’s, Alexeli, Kings Raven and Hanson Vineyards. Your friends will love you for this introduction to the East Willamette Valley.
32. Lap up some fun in a rented Go Cart at the Family Fun Center in Wilsonville and Pat’s Acres in Canby.
33. View the Willamette Falls on the river between Oregon City and West Linn.
34. See salmon journey upstream to spawn at the Cascade Streamwatch Wildwood Recreation site.
35. Trek 200+ miles of cross-country ski trails in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
36. Learn all about herbs and lavender at Barn Owl Nursery in Wilsonville.
37. Savor the flavors at one of the many Mt. Hood Territory’s Farmers’ Markets.
38. Visit a 100 year-old shop of shade garden plants at the Barton “Feed and Seed.”
39. View the Povey Brothers’ spectacular stained glass windows at the Atkinson Memorial Church in Oregon City.
40. Enjoy the Enchanted Christmas Trail at Wenzel Farm.
41. Explore all the angles in a cantilevered pioneer cabin at the Baker Cabin in Carver. If your interests are a bit more batty, visit Carver’s Stone Cliff Inn, where scenes of the movie “Twilight” were filmed.
42. Board the Phoenix and Holly miniature railroad.
43. Safari to Sandy to see a steel elephant.
44. Press your own apple cider at a pioneer-era Philip Foster Farm.
45. Follow in the wagon tracks of historic Barlow Road on the old Oregon Trail.
46. Ready, set, go on a relay run from Mt. Hood to the Coast when you lace up at sneakers at Timberline Lodge, where the famous Hood to Coast relay starts with a bang.
47. Jump in with both feet at St. Josef Winery’s grape stomp.
48. Enjoy an old-fashioned sleigh ride at Government Camp.
49. Dive into the annual Clackamas River “Down the River Clean-up” in September.
50. Take a drive through the pasturelands surrounding Wilsonville – it’s perfect “horse
51. Check out the Highland Stillhouse – with the most impressive single malt scotch list in the Greater Portland area and an ambience that transports you back to the Old World.
52. Bike On with a copy of Ten Great Mt. Hood Territory rides in your back pocket.
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