Ahhhhhh Sauvie Island—an incredible local getaway, full of wildlife, fresh air, and organic produce, just a short 20-30 minute drive from downtown Portland. Summer is the best time to head to the island for tons of seasonal outdoor adventures. Get your kids out of the city for an epic family adventure that includes hitting the beaches, picking berries, and petting farm animals. Read on to find out what not to miss on Sauvie Island this summer!

photo: abi p. via flickr

What Not to Miss

Hike to a Lighthouse
If you’re up for a 5k (3-mile) moderate and flat walk, make the trek to Warrior Rock Lighthouse. Fun fact: it happens to be Oregon’s smallest lighthouse! Stop along the way to look up for bald eagles, Canada geese, swans, and cranes. You may even see sea lions as you walk along the Columbia River! To get there, pass through the entry gate at the end of Reeder Road and follow the trail. There is a porta potty at the trail head as well.

Pick Produce
There are a few u-pick farms on the island. This summer, check out Columbia Farms U-Pick for: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, marionberries, boysenberries, and blackberries. They also seasonally have tomatoes, peppers, flowers, pumpkins, and fall decor items, depending on when you visit. Don’t forget to bring containers to place your freshly picked berries in, and maybe a picnic to enjoy at the tables under their gazebo while taking in the scenery.

Online: columbiafarmsu-pick.com

More local farms to check out include:

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Kruger’s Farm Market
17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd, Portland, OR 9723
503-621-3489
Online: krugersfarm.com

Bella Organics
16205 NW Gillihan Rd, Portland, OR 97231
503-621-9545
Online: bellaorganic.com

Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch
16511 NW Gillihan Rd, Portland, OR 97231
503-621-3874
Online: thepumpkinpatch.com

Visit Farm Animals
Check out The Original Pumpkin Patch’s Big Red Animal Barn, which typically has goats, rabbits, and perhaps a turkey or peacock or two. It’s sure to get an excited squeal out of your little one. What’s great is this is a great activity for both rainy and hot days, and is open daily June through October, from 9 am – 6 pm.

Online: thepumpkinpatch.com

photo: the B’s via flickr

Let’s Go Fishing
Check out one of the many small ponds or lake areas for practicing your hand at beginner-level fishing. In early spring, try Haldeman Pond, while Aaron’s Lake, Steelman Lake or Mud Lake are great throughout the summer. Your little angler will enjoy trying their hand at catching the small perch, crappie, and catfish that can be found in the waters of Sauvie Island.

Online: sauvieisland.org

Visit Farm Animals
Check out The Original Pumpkin Patch’s Big Red Animal Barn, which typically has goats, rabbits, and perhaps a turkey or peacock or two. It’s sure to get an excited squeal out of your little one. What’s great is this is a great activity for both rainy and hot days, and is open daily June through October, from 9 am – 6 pm.

Online: thepumpkinpatch.com

Splash and Sun
The island has some of Portland’s best beaches, for good reason. Close enough for easy access, wild enough to go free (super free if you want–the nude beach is farther up the island! Don’t be alarmed, you’d have to go very far to find it, there’s no risk of accidentally stumbling on it). During the warm months the shores are stocked with families looking to escape the heat.

Walton Beach is your best bet for a sunny day on the water. Watch for eagles, count cargo ships, build a sand castle, then splash the sand awa. It’s a popular spot, but doesn’t feel too crowded– there’s still plenty of room to fly a kite! A $10 daily parking pass is available at the Cracker Barrel Store right off the bridge to the island.

38378-38798 NW Reeder Rd.
Online: sauvieisland.org

 

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photo: jenna via flickr

Stay Overnight
After all of these activities, you and your little one(s) may be ready for some rest. Settle in for a night or two stay at the family-run Croft Farm, a working fruit, vegetable and honey farm. The Croft’s 300 square-foot guest suite is surrounded by acres of farmland and wildlife, as well as a friendly hound dog! Wake up to a view of Mt. St. Helens before nuzzling their rabbits and chickens goodbye and departing back for home, refreshed.

Online: thecroftfarm.com

The Details
The island takes about 30 minutes to get to via a single bridge from US 30, and another 30 minutes to get across. There are no gas stations there, so be sure to fill up before you arrive. Restrooms can be scarce: most farms have options, many are porta potties. Note that all wildlife areas on the island require parking passes for $10/day, which can be purchased at the Cracker Barrel store just to the left of the bridge when you arrive, or at the Oregon Dept. Fish and Wildlife further down. (The pass is not required to visit any farms.)

Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
18330 NW Sauvie Island Road
503.621.3488

The Cracker Barrel Store
15005 NW Sauvie Island Road

Pro tips
Parking: A parking permit is required to park at beaches or natural areas along the island (but not at business parking lots). A daily permit is $10, and an annual permit is $30. Tickets can be purchased online through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, most Portland-area Fred Meyer stores, or at The Cracker Barrel Store, located at 15005 NW Sauvie Island Road.

Gas: There are no gas stations on the island, so fill up before you cross the bridge.

Restrooms: Most restrooms are porta potties, but you can hit the real thing at the Sauvie Island Bridge parking lot, or at either of the two major farms: the Pumpkin Patch and Kruger’s.

Collin’s Beach: this particular beach (begins about a quarter of a mile after Reeder Road turns to gravel), is clothing optional – you’ve been warned!

—April Hasson

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