East Multnomah County, or East County, can be described as anything east of I-205 or east of the Willamette River. Hood River County borders Multnomah County to the east, where it expands into the Columbia River Gorge. The southern border runs above Milwaukie, Boring, and Sandy in Clackamas County. Even though Multnomah County is the smallest county in Oregon, it’s the most populous at 735,000 people. The area of East County has been inhabited for thousands of years, including by the Multnomah of Chinookan communities.
East County is also home to the Historic Columbia River Highway, Multnomah Falls, and Oxbow Regional Park. Recreational activities include sturgeon and salmon fishing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding in the Columbia River. The Sandy River is wonderful for kayaking, canoeing, or just floating on a hot day. Fly fishing at Oxbow is a popular place to land a steelhead.
Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge are easy to get a long weekend run from East County. First, however, we will highlight the trails among the many parks among the ancient volcanoes and buttes in the area that offers grand views of downtown Portland, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mount St. Helens. Metro has plans to add trails in the East Buttes natural areas that form large patches of upland forest from Gresham to Happy Valley.
East County Trail Runs
Oxbow Regional Park, Metro has over 11 miles of trails along the Sandy River and around Alder Ridge. Oxbow is a great way to spend time with family with a children’s play area along the river, picnic areas, and campgrounds.
Powell Butte Nature Park offers trails among forests, wetlands, savannahs, and wetlands. Five volcanoes can be seen on a clear day at the summit of the Mountain View Trail.
Mike Strobel created a 26.2-mile route called Tour de Buttes for Eastwind Runners & Endurance. The run uses trails, roads, and the Springwater Corridor to connect five buttes in East County.
East County Trail Races
It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t plug our own race, the Oxbow Trail Runs in Oxbow Regional Park. Besides the beautiful Sandy River and the Ancient Forest views, the 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon finishers are rewarded with food and root beer floats at the finish line in the Alder Picnic area.
The Mt. Tabor Tar n’ Trail on Mt. Tabor is a 5k and 10k run on the roads and trails in Mt. Tabor Park by Anne Crispino-Taylor to benefit the Friends of Mt. Tabor.
East County Trail Running Group
Eastwind Running and Endurance is a nonprofit organization serving areas east of the Willamette River that offers almost daily events and activities like group runs, rides, swims, and more.
Coffee and Microbreweries
The highly populated area of East County has no shortage of coffee houses and brewpubs. Here are a few places to check out.
Stomping Grounds has a cafe and drive-through locations in Fairview and Gresham for quick caffeinated drinks and food.
Cafe Delerium calls itself Gresham’s Living Room. Newberg’s Caravan Coffee is roasted here for espresso and other coffee drinks. Breakfast and lunch menus make up the dining options.
The Troutdale General Store on the Historic Columbia River Highway is a fun place to look at antiques, local crafts, and Christmas items while getting a cup of coffee or staying for breakfast or lunch.
Level Brewing and Beer Garden has gamed themed microbrews. So have a seat in the greenroom and grab some grub from the food carts.
Von Ebert Brewing’s Glendoveer location is a great place to sip an award-winning craft beer with what they call “elevated American pub fare.”
Migration Brewery has several locations, including one easily accessible right off I-84 in Gresham. Enjoy beer and pizza while playing a round of darts after a run at Oxbow or in the Gorge.