It’s easy to see why the charming city of Troutdale is called the Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge. When you live in Troutdale, you’re situated at the doorstep to 80-miles of Oregon beauty with winding rivers, cliffs and waterfalls dotting the landscape.
Unlike many Portland metro areas, Troutdale adopts a more suburban vibe enveloped in quiet town living. Antique shops, a railway and an outlet mall sit along the leafy landscape. Troutdale also attracts creatives, designers and media workers looking for inspiration in Troutdale’s stunning backdrop.
Where is Troutdale?
Troutdale lies 12-miles east of Portland and sits north of Gresham and east of Wood Village. As the Gateway to the Gorge, Troutdale sits at the Columbia River’s confluence and the Sandy River. It’s easy to commute to Portland or Gresham while enjoying the best of the Gorge’s outdoor recreation.
The Chinookan Native Americans settled near the Columbia River wetlands for the ample hunting and fishing opportunities. Lewis and Clark also explored the area between 1804 to 1806; however, it was Sea Captain John Harlow who claimed Troutdale in 1872. Harlow quickly got to work building a large estate with trout ponds. Harlow was also instrumental in convincing the railroads to set-up a depot near his home and bring more commerce into the area.
What to Do
Troutdale is a nature lover’s dream. Locals can walk from the Sandy River all the way to the Columbia River or hop in the car and explore Mt. Hood National Forest. There are dozens of opportunities for hiking, sailing, windsurfing, snowboarding and anything else you can think of for outdoor fun. Insiders know the winter winds can get brutal, but you get the payoff of living near nature year-round.
Longtime locals and tourists alike explore Multnomah Falls spanning across basalt cliffs and outcroppings. The area is also home to Oregon’s tallest waterfall. A historic lodge attracts locals on overnight trips looking for views from the pedestrian bridge.
You can also find canyons and watering holes throughout the Gorge. Over at the nearby Shepperd’s Dell State Natural Area, a small canyon boasts a cascading waterfall and stunning views.
For something more local to Troutdale, Glenn Otto Community Park spans six acres and is partially bordered by Beaver Creek. During the summer months, lifeguards on duty at the beach where families come for the Riverton access, playground and picnicking.
Beyond outdoor recreation opportunities, The Depot Rail Museum, Troutdale, Oregon and Barn Exhibit Hall all offer historical stops to learn more about the area. There are also popular shopping options at the Columbia Gorge Outlets, Troutdale General Store, antique shops and gift shops for some retail therapy.
Locals support the arts with the Troutdale At Walk every First Friday of the month, where local artists line the street. Galleries and shops open their doors to visitors looking for local and artisan wares.
Where to Eat & Drink
You’re not far from Portland’s foodie scene, although Troutdale has its own contenders. Tad’s Chicken and Dumplings serve up its namesake dishes and stunning views. For Italian, try Ristorante Di Pompelmo with ravioli Portobello and seafood Portofino. You’ll also find barbecue pork ribs and pan-fried lamb on the menu.
Sugarpine offers drive-in dining on the Sandy River banks with oversized kalua pulled pork and Reuben sandwiches, salads and aloha side slaw. Customers take in the views while indulging in soft-serve ice cream with generous toppings.
For upscale cocktails, try Troutini, Skyland Pub or Bandit’s Bar and Grill. You can also stay for the burgers, pulled pork nachos and find a spot to enjoy the views.
Moving to Troutdale
Real Estate Snapshot
Troutdale offers more of a residential setting than Portland, with a mix of modest and upper-middle-class homes. You’ll find accommodations for rent inside converted homes and apartment complexes.
Apartments for rent in Troutdale run for an average of $1,425, which is lower than the Portland average of $1,484. You’re also more likely to find more space to spread out in Troutdale than much of the Portland metro area. Ask about an apartment with a view, but be prepared to pay a premium for the privilege.
Troutdale is among the state’s fastest-growing cities, and business is bringing new development into the area. FedEx Ground purchased property in Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park and will bring more job opportunities to the area.
Public transportation in Troutdale isn’t as robust as Portland’s urban center. Most locals drive to commute to Portland or Gresham. However, you can catch the 20, 21 or 77 bus into Portland to skip the commute and traffic. Lyft and Uber are also available in Troutdale.
Like the rest of the metro area, biking is a popular pastime and mode of operation around Troutdale. You’re not far from biking trails like Banks-Veronica State Trail, Columbia River Dike Trail and Coweeman River Trail.
Schools & Employment
Troutdale is a family-friendly community, and parents send their kids to public schools and become part of the community. For higher education opportunities, Troutdale is located near Mt. Hood Community College and close enough to commute into Portland’s University of Portland, Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University.
Troutdale is also home to a diverse workforce of white and blue-collared jobs in administration, sales and management roles. The city boasts its own tourism industry and is ideally situated near the Columbia Gorge and Multnomah Falls. Troutdale attracts visitors from both Portland Gresham to its outdoor recreation and outlet malls.
Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park was recently vitalized as a central job center for the community. It spans 700-acres across a former brownfield. FedEx and Amazon are significant employers in Troutdale, with Amazon slated to bring over 1,500 full-time jobs to the city. Troutdale Airport also offers aviation training and opportunities for business aviation.
Want to enjoy a year-round outdoor lifestyle with a small-town vibe? Find your next apartment on RENTCafé and get ready to take in Troutdale’s natural beauty, outlet shopping and creative vibe.