- Port of Columbia County
- 100 E Street - Columbia City
- Oregon 97018 - United States
- (503) 397-2888
- [email protected]
Columbia County is located in the northwestern part of the state of Oregon, in the United States. It was established on January 16, 1854, and is named after the Columbia River, which forms the county's eastern and northern boundaries. The county seat and largest city is St. Helens.
Geographically, Columbia County is characterized by its diverse landscape, featuring river valleys, rolling hills, and forested areas. The county is known for its natural beauty, with scenic views of the Columbia River and opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating.
The economy of Columbia County is diverse, with industries such as timber, manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism playing significant roles. The county has a strong history in logging and timber production, with forests covering a substantial portion of the area. In recent years, efforts have been made to promote sustainable forestry practices and diversify the local economy.
Columbia County is also home to several notable attractions and landmarks. Scappoose Bay, located near the city of Scappoose, is a popular spot for kayaking, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities. The Columbia County Historical Museum in St. Helens showcases the region's history and cultural heritage. Additionally, the Columbia County Courthouse, a historic building dating back to 1906, is an architectural gem in downtown St. Helens.
Overall, Columbia County offers a mix of natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and a rich history, making it an attractive place to live and visit in Oregon.
Top Tourist Attractions
Columbia County offers a range of tourist attractions that showcase its natural beauty, historical sites, and recreational opportunities. Here are some of the top attractions to explore:
- Scenic Columbia River Gorge: As Columbia County borders the Columbia River, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the scenic Columbia River Gorge. The area offers numerous hiking trails, viewpoints, and waterfalls, including the iconic Multnomah Falls, which attracts visitors from around the world.
- St. Helens Historic Downtown: The city of St. Helens boasts a charming historic downtown area with beautifully preserved buildings. Visitors can stroll along the streets, browse local shops, dine in restaurants, and visit the Columbia County Historical Museum to learn about the region's history.
- Scappoose Bay: Located near the city of Scappoose, Scappoose Bay is a picturesque destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The bay offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and birdwatching. There are also trails for hiking and biking, providing a chance to explore the surrounding wetlands and wildlife.
- Columbia County Courthouse: The Columbia County Courthouse in St. Helens is a historic landmark worth visiting. Built in 1906, this beautiful building features elegant architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can admire its exterior and learn about its history.
- Columbia County Fairgrounds: The Columbia County Fairgrounds host a variety of events throughout the year, including the annual Columbia County Fair and Rodeo. This family-friendly event showcases agricultural exhibits, livestock shows, carnival rides, live music, and more.
- Lewis and Clark Bridge: The Lewis and Clark Bridge spans the Columbia River, connecting Rainier in Columbia County to Longview, Washington. The bridge offers scenic views of the river and surrounding landscapes, and it's a great spot for photography or a leisurely drive.
- Elks Memorial Building: Located in St. Helens, the Elks Memorial Building is a historic structure that dates back to 1925. The building's architecture is notable, and it serves as a venue for various community events and activities.
These are just a few examples of the top tourist attractions in Columbia County, Oregon. The area's natural beauty, rich history, and recreational opportunities make it an appealing destination for visitors seeking a mix of outdoor adventure and cultural experiences.
Scappoose Bay, located in Columbia County, Oregon, has a rich history that stretches back centuries. Here is an overview of the historical significance of Scappoose Bay:
- Native American Presence: The area around Scappoose Bay has been inhabited by Native American tribes for thousands of years. The Tualatin Kalapuya people were the indigenous inhabitants of the region, and they relied on the bay for sustenance, including fishing, gathering shellfish, and using the waterways for transportation.
- Exploration and Settlement: European exploration of the area began in the late 18th century when the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the Columbia River region. However, it was the arrival of fur traders and missionaries in the early 19th century that marked the beginning of more sustained interactions between the Native peoples and European settlers.
- Logging and Early Industries: In the late 19th century, the timber industry played a significant role in the development of Scappoose Bay and the surrounding area. Logging operations grew, and the bay became a hub for transporting logs and timber products. Sawmills and other timber-related industries were established in nearby towns, including Scappoose, leveraging the natural resources of the region.
- Transportation and Trade: Scappoose Bay served as an essential waterway for transportation and trade in the early days of settlement. Steamboats were a common sight on the bay, carrying passengers and goods up and down the Columbia River. Scappoose was a vital trading center, connecting the inland communities to the river and the wider region.
- Modern Conservation Efforts: In recent decades, Scappoose Bay has gained recognition for its ecological value, leading to conservation efforts to protect its delicate ecosystem. Organizations like the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council and local partnerships have worked to preserve and restore habitats, manage invasive species, and educate the public about the importance of the bay's natural resources.
Today, Scappoose Bay remains a beautiful and ecologically significant area, attracting outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy kayaking, canoeing, birdwatching, and other recreational activities. Its historical significance as a cultural and economic center in the region adds to its appeal as a destination for visitors and residents alike.
Scappoose Bay is a body of water located in Columbia County, Oregon, near the city of Scappoose. It is situated approximately 18 miles northwest of Portland, Oregon. Here are some key geographical features and characteristics of Scappoose Bay:
- Location: Scappoose Bay is located in the northwestern part of Oregon, in the Columbia River Basin. It is positioned near the confluence of the Scappoose Creek and Multnomah Channel, which connects to the Columbia River.
- Size and Shape: Scappoose Bay covers an area of approximately 2,300 acres (930 hectares). It has a relatively irregular shape, with multiple channels, sloughs, and wetland areas that make up its intricate system.
- Wetlands and Estuary: The bay is surrounded by expansive wetlands and an estuarine environment, characterized by marshes, mudflats, and submerged aquatic vegetation. These wetlands provide vital habitat for a diverse range of plant and animal species, including birds, fish, mammals, and amphibians.
- Scappoose Creek: Scappoose Bay is connected to the Scappoose Creek, a tributary that flows into the bay. The creek originates in the Coast Range Mountains and meanders through forests and agricultural lands before reaching the bay. It contributes freshwater input and nutrients to the bay's ecosystem.
- Flora and Fauna: Scappoose Bay is known for its diverse plant and animal life. The wetlands support a variety of vegetation, including cattails, sedges, and aquatic plants. The bay serves as an important habitat for migratory and resident bird species, such as waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors. Fish species found in the bay include salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, and bass.
- Recreational Opportunities: Scappoose Bay offers numerous recreational activities for visitors. It is popular for kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and fishing. The calm waters, scenic views, and abundant wildlife make it an attractive destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Conservation Efforts: Given the ecological importance of Scappoose Bay, conservation efforts have been implemented to protect and restore its habitats. The Scappoose Bay Watershed Council, along with other organizations and volunteers, work to maintain water quality, manage invasive species, and preserve the bay's natural resources.
The geographical features and ecological significance of Scappoose Bay contribute to its beauty and recreational value, making it a unique and cherished destination within the Columbia County region of Oregon.