Day 13: Troutdale to the Willamette Valley
Bid farewell to the Gorge with a hike through the Sandy River Delta in Troutdale. This wooded area at the confluence of the Columbia and Sandy rivers is popular with dog walkers and birders. You’ll find an art installation from Maya Linn here too; it’s part of the Confluence project, which celebrated the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark and the varied cultures of the Pacific Northwest.
Head past Portland into the Willamette Valley and visit Champoeg State Heritage Area, the site of Oregon’s first provisional government and an important pioneer heritage site. The park includes a museum and the historic Butteville Store, the oldest operating store in Oregon.
With more than 400 wineries within its borders, the Willamette Valley wine region is one to be explored over a lifetime. Get a taste of the rich offerings with wine tasting in the towns of Dundee, Carlton and Newberg.
Detour south to the town of McMinnville for several more good tasting rooms, a charming downtown, and a number of fine restaurants and independent shops. Be sure to carve out some time for the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, a collection of military and civilian aircraft, including the famous Howard Hughes “Spruce Goose.” Next door is Wings & Waves Waterpark, with 10 indoor waterslides and an interactive museum.
From here you can continue your journey with a road trip to Salem, Albany or Corvallis, or take a brew tour of Eugene. Or sit back with a glass of Oregon pinot and marvel at the wonder of a road trip you just completed.