The area where the Sandy River enters the Columbia River now has a park of sorts on the est side of the Sandy River. The land is currently owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture division known as the US Forest Service, but several local groups have also participated in the planning for the park.
The park area includes a very substantial area that is open range for dogs, and certain areas that are maintained for wildlife habitat and in those areas the dogs are not supposed to be running free. However, for the most part people have lost this distinction, and you will find dogs in many locations they are not supposed to be.
Due the huge number of dogs running around off leash here, you will have best luck with the wildlife in the early morning hours, before everyone has a chance to come here as part of their after-work recreation.
Trails go throughout the park, and the further north you go the less noise problem from Interstate 84 you will have.
One of the special features of the park is the Bird Blind, which is part of a series of seven art projects created as part of the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery. I have a separate tip on this, due to it being a feature of a national art project.
There is a seasonal pond in the southeast part of the park which attracts a number of birds that like water. This may include scaups, bufflehead and wigeons, but also includes the far more common Canada geese and mallards.
Trees and shrubs and other bushes are the domain of flickers and other woodpeckers as well as flycatchers of various types. It is not surprising at all to find kestrels and a few other birds of prey around as well, though they leave if the dog population gets too high.
Temporarily located in a new home while their main gallery is being remodeled, you will find that Rip Caswell creates some impressive work. The huge bronze moose in front of the building (with burgular alarms and a sign that says WARNING: MOOSE IS HOT) should tip you off as to what goes on in here.
However, the fact is that the gallery houses the smaller work. The larger of the huge bronze monuments that Rip Caswell creates would simply never fit in this building.
Of the number of items on display in the building this month includes a miniature (as in, ony about 12 feet tall) version of the statue that is being made for Salem, Oregon as a tribute to Oregon's former governor Tom McCall.
The address listed below is for the main office. The gallery is temporarily located 1 building to the east of the permanent gallery (which is being remodeled).
This gallery usually participates in First Friday Troutdale Art Walk, and generally has something particularly interesting and special during that event.
Troutdale is not a large city, and the First Friday art show is therefore not a huge show. However, if you don't like the extremely crowded conditions of Portland's First Thursday show, this may be more to your liking.
As a general rule, the shows start about 5 PM, and run until 9 PM. Some of the stores in the downtown area of Troutdale stay open late for this event, even if they are not part of the show. A number of the restaurants have artwork displayed on the walls.
In warm weather, some of the artists and musicians are outdoors in front of the buildings.
There is a brocure available in some of the stores, galleries and other downtown businesses that tell what is being shown and where. This will also give specific hours of operation for businesses that may have different hours than the standard First Friday hours.
While it is called an "art walk" it is not a very long walk at all. The entire length of downtown Troutdale can be walked in about 7 minutes - but of course it takes longer if you are stopping to look at things. It is about 600 feet in length. Businesses on both sides of the main street through town (Old Columbia River Highway) participate, and others don't participate at all.
The area participating in First Friday are located along East Columbia River Highway, between Kendall Avenue east to the sharp curve in the road at Depot Park. The museum inside the train station right at the sharp corner is one of the participants, but it is located off the road a little bit.
Also, be sure to visit the Caswell Gallery during First Friday, as they usually have some interesting stuff going on in there.
I have a very hard time trying to describe Edgefield for those who have no idea what it is. For those who are in Oregon I can say it is a "typical McMenamin Brothers Establishment" and they would know what I mean, but such a thing is meaningless to most tourists.
For many years, Edgefield was not a very happy place. Those who were housed here wer those who were determined to be mentally incapable of surviving in public on their own, and thus needed a place to live under management by others. As part of providing something for these people to do, and to help with the costs of operation, they grew their own food, and otherwise worked for the establishment. When you hear the term "funny farm" it is a derogitory term for a place like what Edgefield used to be.
Eventually, the establishment closed. This left a significant property with a number of interesting heritage buildings, none of which were really suitable for suburban residential development.
Thus, the development of the "Edgefield". Part of one of the main buildings has been turned into a hotel, while parts of the grounds have been turned into a small golf course. An outdoor theatre stage is used for various concerts during the summer, while several restaurants and bars are scattered through the facility. Parts of the facility has been turned into beverage production (a winery, a brewery, and a distillary are all here, and serve some of the other McMenamin's establishments).
On-site movies include regular movie showings, plus additional outdoor movie showings during the summer months.
Extensive gardens have been built around the buildings, and outdoor eating is fairly common here. This is especially true during the summer months.
The McMenamin brothers also have eccentric artistic tastes, so along with the historic photos of the facility on the walls, you will also find the entire place decorated in a very unique style that is characteristic of all McMenamin owned restaurants, hotels, and movie theatres.
This will also explain why there is an artistic glass making facility right behind the main building, in which you can watch artists make, and purchase finished, various pieces of useful and eccentric glass.
Pets are not allowed on the property.
Other McMenamin's properties I have put on VirtualTourist include the Saint John's Theatre and The Bagdad.
Cracked Pots is a group of artists that creates items from scrap material, trash, and various other cast off items.
Edgefield is an old "farm" mental hospital which has been "recycled" into a brewery, golf course, hotel, pub and restaurant complex, with some fairly extensive gardens.
Naturally, Edgefield is an ideal place for the annual Cracked Pots Garden Art Show - the art that the Cracked Pots artists create specifically designed to put outside in your yard, decorate the exterior of your house, or otherwise used outside.
During this past 2007 show, there were some 70 artists showing and selling their work.
Check the Cracked Pots web site for other events, and annual garden art show information.
If you'd like to see an incredibly beautiful waterfall not too far from Portland, then this is it!
The hike up to the bridge is short and easy. You can also continue on up to the very top of the falls.
We never ate at the lodge but the BBQ smells emanating out of it were most delicious!
The Columbia River runs along the northern edge of Oregon, from Astoria at the Pacific Ocean to near Hermiston, about 2/3 the width of the state.
There are great views at many places. This photo was taken from Vista House, situated at high-point along the Historic Columbia River Highway, about halfway between Troutdale and Multnomah Falls.
The waterfalls plunge in a shape that seems to ideally suit their names - they look just like horse tails!
Horsetail is my favorite of all the falls. For one thing, it is practically on the highway, so you don't have to walk in. For another, there are lots of good places to take pictures. Visitors can actually enjoy two distinctly different views of Horsetail Falls by enjoying it from the parking lot across the highway and then by walking to the far west side of the falls and looking back to it. Both views are simply incredible.
Benson Bridge crafted by Italian stone masons, allows visitors to cross the Multnomah Falls. In 1914, Simon Benson, a prominent businessman and owner of the falls at that time, erected the bridge. Before then, a wood log bridge was in its place.
With 620-feet in height, this double tiered waterfall is the fourth highest in the United States. From the information center, visitors can follow the 1.2 mile paved trail that climbs approximately 600 feet to the top of Multnomah Falls. This trail provides great views of the falls and the Columbia River Gorge.
The Yakama Tribe word "wahkeena" means "most beautiful." (spelled Wah-kee-na) tumbles 242 feet in a cascading type of falls with 3 plunging falls.
Wahkeena Falls can be enjoyed from the parking lot, or, for the more adventuresome visitors, by taking the hiking trail back into the woods. In fact, there are two more smaller falls behind Wahkeena, accessible by the trail only, for those who are in the mood for a good hike. No matter what, be sure to walk down to the small bridge at the west edge of the parking lot to take in the full view of this incredible waterfall, from the top edge all the way down to the creek below as it flows out to meet the Columbia River.
Bridal Veil Falls are more than worth the effort of hiking into the woods, a hike approximately 3/4 mile round trip and a 0.5-mile paved path to the gorge overlook. Visitors are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes and to watch their steps as they climb down the trail to reach the falls as there can be several slick spots along the way. However, once they reach the falls, everything will be worth it. At 140 feet in height and nearly 40 feet across, they're simply an amazing sight to see and a must for anyone who enjoys the beauty of natural, pristine waterfalls.
Although the Vista House is only open in summer, the parking lot and circular lower promenade are accessible all year. The view from 733-foot Crown Point encompasses extinct volcanoes in Washington, the Columbia River, Beacon Rock—an 800-foot-high volcanic plug—and the spectacular eastern rim of the gorge.
Offers the magnificent view of the entire gorge amphitheater. This is the place to photograph Vista House perched on Crown Point, with the Columbia below and the gorge wall in the background, just as you've seen it in thousands of pictures.
The Historic Columbia River Highway is America's premiere Historic and Scenic Highway. Built between 1913 and 1922, along the steep cliffs of the magnificent Columbia River Gorge, this narrow, curving roadway was a technological tour-de-force when it was constructed. When the Interstate Highway system was being constructed in the 1950s, many portions of the old highway were demolished, abandoned, or bypassed.
The most scenic section of the Columbia River Gorge lies on the forty-three miles between Troutdale and The Dalles. Mileposts begin with zero at Portland, and exit numbers on Interstate 84 roughly correspond to the number of miles from Portland.