Posts Tagged ‘Columbia’

Government Cove Peninsula

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Government CoveWhat’s to Love:  I know I’ve been a bit heavy on climbing destinations lately, but Government Cove is a little gem that provides more than rock climbing, scrambling, and bouldering.  This is a relatively undeveloped location (i.e., no fees, no restrooms, no water, no parking area, etc.). Despite that fact, the entire area was very clean with some nice paved and unpaved trails for hiking and biking.

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Sandy River Delta: Got Dog?

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Sandy River Delta ParkWhat’s to Love:  1000+ acres of no-feepublic trails, mud holes, bird blinds, beach access (Columbia & Sandy Rivers), and HUGE open fields for your dog to be off-leash!  There are only two areas where dogs must be on-leash (Confluence Trail and the parking area).  Otherwise, your dogs can experience a tremendous amount of freedom running free with other dogs and having a great time in what feels like a wilderness setting.

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Hiking Angel’s Rest

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Angel's Rest Columbia River GorgeWhat’s to Love:  Since moving here to Portland in 1999, my wife and I have hiked Angel’s Rest too many times to count.  To this day, it remains one or our favorite hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, and it’s one of the first hikes when entering the Gorge from Portland. While we carried our oldest son up the hike when he was younger, this was our first visit to hike the entire 4.8 miles (round trip) with both kids.

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Mosier Tunnels

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Mosier TunnelsWhat’s to Love:  The Mosier Tunnels are locate just outside Mosier, Oregon and are a couple of exits east of Hood River, Oregon.  Located high up on bluff, they are part of what used to be the old Columbia Gorge highway.  This roadway is now closed to cars for an impressive 4.7 miles, which will bring you all the way back to Hood River.  This is a perfect destination for a family bike ride, especially when combined with so many other destinations nearby. 

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Marine Drive Bike Path

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Marine Drive Bike PathWhat’s to Love:  The weather is getting nice!  If you’re looking for a relatively-flat, straight, paved, bike path for a nice family cruise, the Marine Drive section of Portland’s “40 Mile Loop Trail” is a good option.  The roughly 12+ miles of paved path parallels Marine Drive in North Portland, right alongside the Columbia River.  

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Bonneville Dam

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Bonneville DamWhat’s to Love:  Free admission!  And, your kids will freak out when they see a 6-foot White Sturgeon at the fish hatchery.  I wouldn’t rate this high as a family destination on its own, but it’s in the perfect location for a side trip while out and about in the Gorge.  Definitely a good bet when mixed with “Wahclella Falls.

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Walton Beach – Sauvie Island

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Walton Beach at Sauvie IslandWhat’s to Love:  Do you want to have a day at the beach without driving 70+ miles to the coast?  That’s exactly what we wanted this past weekend, and the beaches of Sauvie Island provided a reasonable substitute.  Specifically, the Walton Beach area is about 9 miles from the bridge crossing along the NE coast of the island.  It’s a pleasant drive that takes you by many possible side-excursions including blueberry picking at Bella Organics, the Pumpkin Patch Farm, and the Reeder Beach Country Market.

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Visiting The Dalles, OR

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The Dalles, Oregon is located on the east end of the Columbia River Gorge right off highway 84. There are several excellent Museums including Maryhill Museum and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. There is a 9 mile, paved, bike path along the river from the Discovery Center all the way to the Dalles Dam. Portland Family Adventures recommends staying at Cousins Country Inn and eating at Cousins Restaurant.

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Kelley Point Park

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Kelley Point Park Green SpaceWhat’s to Love:  Located right at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, Kelley Point is the northernmost park in Portland.  In my opinion, Kelley Point Park is one of the more interesting outdoor destinations in Portland – as far as parks go.  When cruising along the beautifully forested, paved bike paths, you’ll catch glimpses of the beach, river and large green spaces.  This perfectly serene moment will most likely be sabotaged by a giant, cargo ship’s unmistakable hum – a loud, foreboding hum!  The ship’s horn might give a blast, and you will start to see (and smell) all the industrialization – the chemical plants, acres and acres of new cars, massive cranes, loading and unloading stations, etc.  The reality here is that Kelley Point Park is ground-zero for shipping and receiving via the Columbia River.

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