Featured Northwest Lifestyles Outdoor Activities

Troutdale good launch pad for Columbia Gorge jaunts

Photo caption: Twig hair flies on a sculpture at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale.

By Greg Johnson

Visitors will find Troutdale a pleasant launch pad for jaunts to this historic downtown, nearby McMenamins Edgefield and the Columbia River Gorge.

Troutdale is the gateway to the historic Columbia River Highway, the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood Scenic Byway. Activities include gift shopping, gallery hopping and enjoying meals at local favorite Troutini and other cafes that line the main street.

Elk statue
A majestic elk statue adorns the Columbia River Highway running through Troutdale.

You can also visit historic sites such as the Harlow House and Depot Rail Museum. Capt. Harlow was a Portland business man who founded Troutdale and established a county farm near the Sandy River. He was also instrumental in establishing a railroad depot in Troutdale. The Harlow House and Troutdale Methodist Episcopal Church are both on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shoppers will appreciate finding deals at the sprawling complex of brand-name clothing stores and specialty retailers at the Columbia Gorge Outlets.

Dog lovers will find the 1,400-acre off-leash dog park at nearby Sandy River Delta Park worth the trip alone. Take your “best” furry friend on a run or hike through several miles of wooded trails, grasslands and river beaches at this beautiful park. The park, nestled between I-84 and the Sandy and Columbia rivers, has many amenities including paved parking, restrooms, dog bag stations and garbage disposal.

After trekking the dog park or visiting the nearby Columbia Gorge, enjoy a pleasant lunch or dinner at McMenamins Edgefield, the 38-acre former Multnomah County poor farm that now features a hotel, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. The rambling grounds and buildings, also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, welcome you and your dog as well.

caboose in park
Depot Park in Troutdale.

Guests can wander the extensive gardens with glass of wine or pint of ale in hand. An onsite glass-blower and potter as well as extensive artwork entertain guests throughout the property. There’s also a movie theater, live music and a gift shop.

The 80-mile long Columbia River Gorge awaits those who want to enter the “gateway” for further adventures. It’s still a beautiful place despite the recent horrible fire. Visit for views of dramatic waterfalls, basalt cliffs, soaring eagles and the magnificent Columbia River.

For information, contact the Troutdale Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at 503-669-7473 or go to

For information on McMenamins Edgefield, located at 2126 S.W. Halsey, Troutdale, call 1-800-669-8610 or go to


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