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Estacada | Oregon Homes

ALL ABOUT ESTACADA

Estacada, named by Budget Travel Magazine as “One of the Best Places You’ve Never Heard Of,” remains one of Oregon’s best-kept secrets. We couldn’t agree more! Located at the base of the Clackamas River Gorge near the Mt. Hood National Forest, Estacada is the gateway to amazing fishing, hiking, picnicking, camping, and boating. This gorgeous area has attracted Oregonians and tourists year-round for more than a century.

With a thriving community of artists, and a huge back yard called Mt. Hood National Forest, residents get to enjoy a friendly small town quality of life, as well as the hustle and bustle of downtown Portland - located only 30 minutes away. TriMet and Sandy Area Metro (SAM) have teamed up to offer an economical and convenient way to travel between the two by connecting in Gresham.

Not only is the tight-knit community a departure point for logging in the Clackamas River watershed but it has been nationally recognized as the Christmas Tree Capital of the World, harvesting over 2.9 million trees annually.

A BIT OF HISTORY

In 1905, Estacada was founded as a camp for workers building Cazadero Dam, a power plant to generate electricity for Portland street lights. The river was not easily accessible by road so the Oregon Water Power Railway Co. carried freight and construction crews by rail. The railway then became a recreational line for city folks who picnicked at the riverside park and lodged at the Estacada Hotel.

Paved roads eventually reached the town, and later extended deeper into the woods. Estacada had become a mill town, with log trucks rumbling through one after another during the 1950s and 1960s. Logs were so big at that time that three of them often made a full load. One could smell and hear the sawmill day and night during the boom times, unless it was Sunday, the only time the mill shut down and the trucks stopped rolling.

Estacada today has a new $3.55 million library, and local attractions include Eagle Fern Park filled with old growth cedar and Douglas-fir, Phillip Foster Farm, Bagby Hot Springs and huckleberry fields of the high Cascades.

ARTS & CULTURE

Residents of Estacada have come together to enhance the social and cultural essence of the community. Several art programs like 1% for Art and Estacada Area Arts Commission make sure that their local artists stand out, and in ways that involve everyone. Working with the City of Estacada and the Estacada Public Library, 1% for Art commissioned a unique 5 circuit walk-in Labyrinth equaling 33 feet in diameter. Every July, Estacada Area Arts Commission presents The Estacada Summer Celebration, a free two-day festival celebrating the area's wealth of art with hands-on art activities, juried Art Fair, a silent art auction and live music and dance performances. During the celebration residents can watch the ArtBack Cooperative paint a mural specially designed by one of it's members on the side of one of the town's building, of which over 15 murals currently exist.

The Spiral Gallery Artist's Co-op is the first and only art gallery in Estacada. Since 2004, the gallery has housed art as diverse and varied as the artists themselves, from watercolor to oil to wood, metal, jewelry and sculpture. Around 30 members make up the cooperative, and they are all living in and around Estacada. Striving to exhibit original and diverse artwork the gallery began "1st Friday," featuring a different local artist's work the first Friday of every month. First Friday events bring the streets to life with excitement, and Estacada gets a front row seat to the talent of the artists of the Clackamas River Valley.

Estacada is also home to the oldest documented club in Oregon, the Garfield Skip-A-Week Quilt Club, which began in 1921. This quilting club has grown over the many years from a few members meeting in homes to a large group renting the Garfield Grange. Many of today's quilters are related to the founding members. And they no longer skip a week! They meet once a week, sometimes twice, and put on a quilt fair during the Summer Celebration. They also make and donate Christmas stockings for the needy, lap quilts for nursing homes, and hand quilts for those that pay a small fee.

May through October, Estacada residents flock to take home some fresh, local produce from the Estacada Farmers Market in the center of the downtown. It's a great way to meet local growers of produce, plants, flowers, local honey, nursery stock and other artisan products. Estacada also fills up their 800 plus seat historic auditorium thanks to Estacada Together. Their mission is to enrich the community through music and the performing arts, doing so since 2003 with a variety of musical guests, performances of excerpts and adaptations of Shakespeare during the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and many performances by the Oregon Symphony.

One of the most historically significant sites of Estacada is the Philip Foster Farm National Historic Site, which was the last stop on the Oregon Trail. Admission is free to all (though donations are appreciated), and they offer living history demonstrations to school groups and public tours, complete with period dressed interpreters. They also host annual events such as 1-day and 5-day Living History Summer Camps, a Mother's Day Brunch, Pioneer Dinner and Barn Dance, a Dutch Oven Cook-off, and the Cider Squeeze and Harvest Festival. They hold to the vision of Foster's original enterprise for year-round use while continuing to spread the community history through linking the past to the present.

RECREATION

Tourists and residents alike get off the beaten path by visiting some of the local state parks, rafting, canoeing or kayaking on the Clackamas River, and camping at one of the many campgrounds that surround the area. Bonnie Lure State Recreation Area is a refreshing getaway for a day trip, while Milo McIver State Park lets you spend a day or a week exploring the river, forest and fields. Estacada is home to a total of 16 mountain summits and peaks, most of which can be reached by one of the many hiking trails in the area, and the best way to enjoy the beauties of the Clackamas River (without challenging the rapids!) is to take an extended walk along its shores. Easy road access at both ends of the Clackamas River Trail makes this hike ideal for a car or bicycle shuttle. During late winter and early spring, the lack of leaves allows hikers a spectacular view of the many seasonal waterfalls flowing off trailside cliffs.

Other local recreational activities include a day trip to the Bagby Hot Springs, a 1.5 mile easy hike under the branches of old forest Doug Fir and cedar to the hand hewn log bathtubs filled with steaming 136 degree Fahrenheit water. Don't worry, cold water can be added to tame it down a bit! Another activity that's popular is thrilling whitewater rafting, filled with towering forests and crystal-clear water, exciting rapids and amazing scenery. Estacada also has 7 horse farms within 5 miles of town that offer a variety of services from boarding to breeding to riding lessons, so some days just call for a horseback ride along the river and many trails of the countryside.

 

DINING

Estacada has a large variety of top-notch dining options. Fearless Brewing Company serves great beer, burgers, and a huge array of food. Their unique blends of ales have low prices, awards to boast about, and distribution all around Oregon. Granny's Drive-Thru is a quaint cook-to-order fast food joint, Hitchin Post Pizza is the perfect place for birthday and sports parties, and The Viewpoint Restaurant & Lounge is the place to go for a fun evening out, good food, and creative events or live bands. Newer in town is The Ranger Grill, complete with a Wild West theme, juicy barbequed burgers, amazing pulled pork, and robust and flavorful side salads.

SCHOOLS

The Estacada is served by the Estacada School District, which includes Eagle Creek Elementary School in Eagle Creek, and River Mill Elementary, Clackamas River Elementary, Estacada Junior High, and Estacada High School.


Interested in homes in Estacada? Check out our gorgeous development, Cascadia Ridge, and find your affordable dream home with amazing views overlooking the entire valley, or contact the McDonald Group for more information.