Summer time in Portland really can’t be beat. For a few short months the infamous rain showers (usually) take a vacation, letting the sun shine hot and bright and opening up a whole new set of opportunities for Portlanders to get wet! This city is surrounded in every direction by beautiful water features — endlessly flowing rivers and waterfalls, serene lakes and even the ocean are all easily accessible to the city and they are just waiting to be enjoyed. While the shopping, dining and drinking in Portland shouldn’t be overlooked, make sure you set aside some time in your visit to enjoy some of the natural places that make the Pacific Northwest such a wonderful place to be!
With the official start of summer just days away, here are a few ideas of water-focused excursions that are sure to cool you off on a hot summer day in and around the Rose City.
The drive to the Pacific Ocean is only one and a half hours from Portland, making a day on the beach an easy trip from the Fulton House. Cannon Beach is a popular tourist destination where you can find easily accessible beaches and lots of shops and restaurants. Haystack rock is Cannon Beach’s iconic monolith, (giant rock) that harbors tide pools teeming with sea life. This is a popular spot so if crowds aren’t your cup of tea, you might opt to head either north or south to a few other less crowded beach destinations.
Ecola State Park lies just north of Cannon Beach off highway 101. The views of the coast from this park are breathtaking and always changing so a trip up here never gets old. There are several trails to take within the park that lead to secluded beaches and scenic viewpoints. The beaches are ideal for walking, with compacted sand, tons of rocks, shells, driftwood, tide pools, sea creatures and sea birds to discover –You may even spot a bald eagle or even a whales from one of the lookouts. Although the water stays pretty cold year round, many people find its briskness refreshing on a hot summer day! There are several picnic areas with barbecues, as well as restrooms available for day use. And if you feel like you just can’t go all the way to the coast without seeing the landmark Haystack Rock, you’re in luck! Because the view of Haystack and “the needles” from Ecola State really Park can’t be beat.
Just 10 miles south of Cannon Beach on highway 101 lies a hidden gem of a beach: Oswald West State Park. A short hike through lush rainforest leads you to half-moon shaped Short Sands Beach- a secluded spot where locals come to surf, windsurf, boogie board and swim in the ocean (most people choose to don wetsuits, it’s cold!) Oswald West State Park encompasses 2,474 acres with majestic views of Cape Falcon, Neahkahnie Mountain, Arch Cape and Smuggler’s Cove, so you can choose to head straight for the beach or pick a trail, each provides breathtaking coastal views.
If you’re up for a bit of an adventure and you don’t mind the drive, point the car towards Mt. Hood and head up to Lost Lake. Sitting 3,100 feet up on the slopes of Mt. Hood, Lost Lake is an ideal introduction to the Oregon outdoors. There’s an easy loop hike that takes you through ancient forests and wetlands and lots of places to dip your feet in to the 175 feet of icy blue (average water temperatures in the summer are around 65 degrees). Rowboats and canoes can be rented at the lodge and there are several excellent swimming spots along the lakeshore. The view of Mt. Hood’s northwest face is perhaps the crowning glory of this spot. You don’t want to miss it.
If you’re looking for a place to catch some fish, head out the Columbia Gorge to Benson Lake. The lake is stocked with trout, largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and bullhead and has good bank access. There is no boat ramp but fishers are encouraged to float in tubes and rafts. Take I-84 E to exit 30 just before Multnomah Falls but be sure you read the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations before you go.
FLOATING! A favorite summertime activity in Portland is to float down one of the regions many rivers. Think amusement park “Lazy River” rather than class 5 rapids. The Sandy and Clackamas rivers are ideal for summer floats, the former perhaps a little warmer than the latter. There really isn’t much that’s better than gliding merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, gently down the stream with a cold drink and your closest friends and loved ones beside you. You can dunk in the water if you get too hot, and there are several spots along each route to stop and swim or rest on the shore if you so desire. To float the Clackamas River you will need to bring your own innertubes (which can be bought several stores in Portland. We recommend individual tubes or the double ones with an inflatable cooler in the middle), snacks and beverages and your group will need two vehicles. Drive to Carver Park and leave one vehicle in the parking lot, then take your crew and all your gear to Barton Park and launch your rafts from there. You’ll end up floating about five miles, which usually takes about 3-4 hours with a few short stops. There are a few sections of gentle rapids, nothing scary or dangerous- just fun! A word of warning though, this section of the river is pretty popular so be prepared to join the crowd of merry floaters!
No need to venture far from the Fulton House B&B if you’re itching to get out on the water- the beautiful Willamette River is just a couple blocks from our door! You can rent kayaks or the newly popular stand up paddle boards (SUP) from Portland Kayak Company which is a short 4 block walk from the B&B, then roll your vessel another block to Willamette Park’s boat launch. From here you can paddle south towards Sellwood and check out the funky houseboats on the east side of the river or you can head north and take a loop around Ross Island. The island is uninhabited and is owned by Ross Island Sand and Gravel, which mined the area extensively from 1926-2001. You can paddle right up to the processing plant which sits on the shores of Ross Island Lagoon on the island’s east side. An occasional barge comes through, but action at the plant is pretty minimal these days. As you round the northern tip of the island, you get a pretty stellar view of Portland’s skyline and the bridges that connect the east and west sides. Boats are rented by the hour or the day at very reasonable prices and the Fulton Pub is only a block away once you get back from your trip!
For a “two rivers for the price of one” experience (actually, it’s free!) head up through North Portland to Kelley Point Park where the Willamette empties into the Columbia River. While it’s not quite as picturesque as some of the other river spots I’ve highlighted in this post, Kelly Point Park is a charming spot for an afternoon stroll or a picnic. You can choose to wander wooded trails or follow the paved paths. There’s a sandy beach by the river where you can take a dip or just walk, a big rolling lawn for picnics, games or napping, and blackberry bushes galore! Time it right and bring a few bags or Tupperware containers and you could be dining on the most delicious fresh berries you’ve ever tasted. The best part of this park is it’s so close to the city center so you don’t have to spend hours in your car to get there!
Multnomah Falls is a ubiquitous tourist landmark and it’s a sight to see for sure. Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s tallest waterfall and if you’re going to make a trip into the gorge you really have to stop and visit. You can simply view the falls from the bottom or you can hike the 2.6 miles (roundtrip) to the top and back. If you’re quick you can do it in a bout 90 minutes. It’s a lovely hike with several side trails you can take to other equally stunning waterfalls, but be prepared for crowds.
A little further east from Multnomah Falls off the Historic Columbia River Highway is another great spot for a waterfall tour. Start by following the Horsetail Falls Trail, pass through a chamber behind Ponytail Falls, and then continue on Oneonta Gorge Trail to see Oneonta Gorge, Oneonta Falls and Triple Falls. You won’t get to swim here but you can enjoy the refreshing mists and the shade that the gorge provides. This is also a popular area, so be prepared to share the trail with others.
If you’re lucky enough to miss out on that one kind of water Portland is (in)famous for (you know, the kind that comes from the sky), make sure you check out some of the other fabulous water features this amazing region provides. Be safe and have fun, the opportunities abound!
Sightseeing and Nature Day Tours of Oregon and SW Washington for individuals, small groups and conventions. Tours include door-to-door transportation from the Portland Oregon USA metro area. Here is an example of their great tours:
The Fulton House, built in the late 19th century, originally served as a bordello floating in the Willamette River, one of the gambling houses and bordellos built in present-day Willamette Park. Around 1902, the house was placed on logs and dragged one block west up the hill to its present location, a lot owned by Joseph Weber, a local tanner who owned the entire block. The Weber Tannery was the largest tannery on the Northwest Coast in 1894 and operated until 1945.
Originally, the Fulton House was not in Portland but in the small town of Fulton, which was annexed by its larger neighbor. One block from the Fulton House sits the old Fulton Post Office (cc 1894), today a building containing two small shops. In the area, there is a Fulton Park and the local microbrewery known as the Fulton Pub built on land previously owned by the old Fulton Dairy. Several of the larger homes in the area, like the Fulton House, still exist.
One block east of the Fulton House is Macadam Avenue, today a major thoroughfare but once the first black-topped road out of downtown Portland; in the eastern U.S., roads are paved with “macadam” not with blacktop, hence the street name (many of Portland’s early residents came from the eastern part of the country). Macadam Avenue was built to give easy access to Portland businessmen and politicians to the bars, gambling houses and bordellos, which lined the Willamette River in Willamette Park.
Having spent many years of researching the history of the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast located in Portland Oregon, it was important to take a trip to Washington State to explore the charming historical and rural town of Walla Walla to discover the historic connection between the two sites.
Frank I. Weber & Sons started a tannery in Walla Walla in 1871. The factory was located between 2nd and North Palouse streets; right in the center of town. However, his first building burned in 1879, and the building pictured above was built. By 1896, the year this picture was taken, Weber and his sons had an extensive business dealing with leathers and shoemakers’ supplies all over the Northwest. Having been so successful they expanded their business to Portland, Oregon in 1889 known as the Weber Brothers Tannery.
The Weber Tannery was established by Joseph & Frank I Weber and by 1916, it was the largest tannery on the North Pacific Coast, earning approximately $150,000 a year and employing more than 36 men plus multiple family members. The Weber Tannery occupied five acres on the Willamette River bank directly across from the Riverview Cemetery.
The tannery consisted of a 100 foot by 150 foot 3-story building, which included multiple bark ho rooms, steam drying houses, vats for storage and drying rooms, a beam ho finishing room as well as other independent buildings on the acreage including a wagon shed, a garage, multiple dwellings, fuel sheds, a moorage and a wharf (today house boats at Macadam Bay). The facility was also located on the Oregon & California Railroad line, which allowed import of hides and supplies from Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Iowa and an occasional shipment from Canada. Aside from tanning leather for harnesses, footwear purposes, belting etc., considerable custom work was done. Sheep pelts, deer and fur animals skins were tanned for rugs and other purposes.
The Weber family also owned approximately three-quarters of Block 16 between Nevada and Texas streets, as well as store front/residences on Macadam Avenue and multiple family sites on Virginia Avenue. Today, at Nevada and Macadam, the Art Factors occupies the building, which was the Fulton Post Office, then the Fulton Hotel, a delicatessen, and a donut shop. Just across Macadam at the foot of Nevada, was where the Fulton train station once stood. Also along the Riverview Trolley passed on it way to the River view cemetery stop. Nearby were the Weber’s Tannery, the Leach’s Foundry and the Irving Company Soap Works.
Be looking for our next Blog post for more about the History of the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast and its connection to Walla Walla, Washington
Hendersonville, North Carolina – February 12, 2013
Check out Chapter 4 and read about Nancy Boggs, the famous madam whose floating bordello transported her patrons up and down the Willamette River in the late 1880’s.
Local legend has it that the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast is the famous bordello that had been built upon the sawdust barge once owned by Nancy Boggs.
The Fulton House Bed & Breakfast is now located on land in the area known as John’s Landing and one block from the Willamette River and Willamette Park.
Yesterday was a delightful 82 degree here in the Rose City. A perfect day to enjoy a ride on the wild side of the Peninsula along a series of trails, low traffic streets, and bike lanes combining three Portland by Cycle rides — Waterfront Loop trail #8, North Portland Trail # 2 and the Sauvie Island Ride #5 destination Kelley Point Park. Click on each ride and a printable map and directions will appear.
We started our ride on one of Portland’s premier trails, The Waterfront Loop #8, which offers one view after another of the Willamette River and the surrounding greenspaces. Mostly on macadam paths, with just a few short sections on streets, this is a delightful and relaxing ride. Just one block from the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast, you can link up with this loop to begin your biking trek.
Next Heading north along the Willamette River, we link up with the Portland by cycle Ride #5 at Naito Parkway and proceed to Wallace Park on NW 25th & Raleigh. After a few turns right, left, right and left again, we approach the St. Helens Road bike lane and follow highway 30 towards the St. Johns Bridge/Sauvie Island.
Once across the St. Johns Bridge, link up with the North Portland Trails # 2 and follow the directions to Kelley Point Park. At Kelley Point Park, you will see the impressive confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.
All in all, a fantastic day biking and enjoying the scenery! And over +25 miles of biking!
Check out the link to Portland’s Saturday Market! Lots of things to do and great places to eat! Go enjoy the FUN!
Cyclists — A Great Day of Touring Oregon Wine Country Plus Treat Yourself to a Fabulous Brunch at Eola Hills Winery
Today, I completed my first 2011 MAC Annual Wine Ride touring Oregon wine country and treating myself to a fabulous made-to-order gourmet brunch — without guilt!
Starting at the Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall, Oregon I wandered along 36.8 miles of scenic Polk County Wine Country, through the town of Independence and across the Willamette River on the historic Buena Vista ferry and then made a loop back to the winery. As I approached the ferry crossing, I spotted an osprey nests up on the platforms and along the route was up close and personal with two turkey buzzards feasting on a dead rabbit just a few feet from me as I crossed the dead carcass in the road. This was just an incredible day in Oregon to be cycling.
Click here for the 2011_MAC_Wine_Ride_Map.
After my ride, I returned to the Eola Hills Winery for the reward of a fabulous brunch prepared by Eola Hills Winery’s master chefs that include stuffed crepes, eggs Benedict, waffles, omelets, sauteed oysters, and more, along with a choice of wine or champagne.
Check out their wonderful Menu for July 24th:
Fresh Pan Fried Oysters from Willapa Bay
Roast Beef Sliders with Onions and Cheese
Fruit Supreme w/
Fresh Fruit, Yogurt and Granola
FOUR styles of Eggs Benedict; Ultimate,
Traditional, Seafood and Veggie
Stick to your Ribs Biscuits and
an Omelet Bar with about 20 toppings to choose
Belgian & Hazelnut Waffles along with Crepes
Stir Fried Veggies
Spring Mix Salad with Apples and
Platter of Watermelon
homemade desserts and much more.
And don’t forget to belly up to the wine tasting bar to sample their wine selections and take home a bottle of their outstanding wines. I particularly like their 2009 Pinot Gris and their Pacific Blanc a Oregon White Wine after a hot day biking the latter that I am sipping now as a draft this post.
The Eola Hills Winery is approximately 58 minutes from the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast in Portland, Oregon. Bring your bikes and enjoy a day of cycling Oregon.
Look for the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast’s geocaching site.
Welcome to Geocaching
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.
Look for the clues about the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast’s history from the book “Weird Oregon”, Your Travel Guide to Oregon’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Al Eufrasio & Jeff Davis.
Could the Fulton House be Nancy Bogg’s Floating Bordello? Legend has it that she was a shrewd business woman and after years of being raiding in downtown by Portland Police she place her bordello on a barge in the Willamette River and eluded raids by docking on the opposite side of the river when police planned raids in downtown Portland. She was also known to welcome police trying to board her scow with a shower of steaming hot water from a fire hose, fed by her boiler.
The Fulton House Bed & Breakfast was originally located on the Willamette River and rolled to its current site on logs with the help of draft horses. And it was a former bordello. The Fulton House’s was owned by the Weber Tannery Company which was the largest tannery on the Northwest Coast in 1894. The Weber Tannery Company was located on what currently is the site of Marine Powers Park in South Portland across from River View Cemetery.
To this day when digging in the back yard of the Fulton House, you will find pieces of history such as pieces of leather, harnesses and an occasional trolley token of the Virginia Street Trolley.
Get involved in geocaching and preserve a bit of Portland history by sharing your new find with family members and friends.
The Fulton House Bed & Breakfast Staff
Get on your bike and experience the “King of Roads”, the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH), America’s first scenic highway. The Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway, a nonprofit organization, is organizing the fourth annual Gorge Ride.
This gorgeous route starts from the Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles and travels along this majestic road and the HCRH State Trail. The ride goes all the way to the Senator Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead near Hood River then returns to the start. This route with world-class scenery is a combination of historic highway that is open to motor vehicles and the quiet HCRH State Trail that is open only to hikers and cyclists.
Highlights of the 38.5 mile ride include the breathtaking panorama at Rowena Crest, a special visit to the grounds of the historic Mayerdale Estate and a remarkable journey through the restored Mosier Twin Tunnels. The proceeds from this fully supported ride go toward restoring and reconnecting the Historic Columbia River Highway from The Dalles to Troutdale by its 100th Birthday, June 7, 2016.
Come back after a day of biking and enjoy soaking in our luxurious hot tub. Or sip a glass of wine on the patio either way you will enjoy your stay at the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast.