What to Do on Sauvie Island by Portland

When I lived in Portland, Oregon: Sauvie Island was one of my favorite places to “get away” from the city.  Its rural setting, surrounded by water on all sides, gives you plenty of opportunity to commune with nature & simply be alone with your thoughts.  Whether you’re looking for a great solitary walk, a dog-friendly stroll, a warm beach for a hot Portland day, or a place to soak in the feeling of fall, pumpkin patches & all ~ Sauvie Island has great options in each of these departments.  So let’s head to Oregon & find out “What to Do on Sauvie Island” in this post!

What to Do on Sauvie Island by Portland, Girl Who Travels the World

If you’re longing for a peaceful place that’s close to Portland: look no further than stunning Sauvie Island.

Sauvie Island

Downtown Portland

Warrior Rock Lighthouse

Bella Organic Farm & Wine Tasting

Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch

Wapato Greenway Loop

Topaz Farm

Best Things to Do on Sauvie Island…

  1. Take a Scenic Walk….With or Without your Dog! There’s not really “hiking” on Sauvie Island: it’s too flat. But there are some beautiful dog-friendly walks ~ my two favorite are the easy, 2-mile loop at Wapato Greenway (accessed right off Sauvie Island Road), & the further-afield, 2.4 mile loop at Oak Island Nature Trail (open only from April 16 – September 30th). You’ll find water along both, & even some cows at Oak Island; both areas are spectacular at sunset.
  2. Bike, Kayak, or Paddle Board Around the Island.  With the Multnomah Channel along its west border, Steelman & Sturgeon Lakes near the center of the island, & the mighty Columbia River running along its beaches on the east: you’ve got numerous paddle-board & kayak options here. The easiest places to “put in” will be the beaches that front the Columbia; there’s plenty of parking here & a short walk to the beach. Or bring your bike & enjoy riding around the pastoral scenery of the island!  
  3. Shop at a Farmer’s Market….then Go Wine Tasting!  You’ll see beautiful produce practically spilling out onto the road from Sauvie’s numerous farms ~ pull over at whichever look the most enticing. Then stop by Bella Organic Farm for some wine & cider tasting….& enjoy an accompanying charcuterie board. Bella also offers hay rides, a petting zoo, & corn mazes in the fall.
    What to Do on Sauvie Island by Portland, Girl Who Travels the World

    Visiting one of Sauvie Island’s many delicious Farmer’s Markets is just one thing to do on the island…

  4. Spend the Day at the Beach.  Getting to Sauvie Island’s beaches requires a bit of a drive, as they’re accessed all the way on the north-east side of the island. Though the extra 20-minute drive from the Sauvie Island Bridge may seem like a lot: on a hot day, there’s no better place to spend a day on the beach than here (water in the Columbia is much cleaner than in the Willamette). And there’s a lot of room to spread out, as the beach goes on for miles….& yes, there IS a nude beach sprinkled in there! It’s also a great place to go for a long fall walk; Warrior Rock Lighthouse is all the way at the top of the peninsula, & makes for a 7-mile round-trip if you start at Warrior Point Trailhead.
  5. Pick Your Own Berries!  Bring the family out & have a grand “Berry-Picking Adventure!” Head to Sauvie Island Farms to pick your own strawberries, peaches, & raspberries; at Bella Organic, you can find cherries, blueberries, & thorn-less blackberries; & at Topaz Farms you can find my favorite ~ Marionberries & boysenberries! Topaz also has outdoor summer concerts & corn mazes in the fall.
  6. Visit a Pumpkin Patch & Haunted Maze in the Fall. Sauvie Island is the most popular (& most scenic) spot in Portland to visit gorgeous fall-adorned pumpkin patches; all the farms I’ve previously mentioned have their own, as well as the island’s most famous: the aptly-named Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch. The Haunted Maze here scared the shit out of me & my friends….if that doesn’t sound fun, head to their cafe, cute gift shop, or take a free hay ride.  Sauvie Island is the spot in Portland to soak in that wonderful fall feeling.
    What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

    Sauvie Island is home to MANY corn mazes in the fall ~ some are “haunted,” while others are kid-friendly. And some even have a huge overall design, as this Portland Timber-themed one does.

  7. Practice Your Sunset Photography while Bird-Watching. As you’ll see from some of my photos below, Sauvie Island is one of the prettiest places in Portland to catch the sunset. All the surrounding water beautifully reflects what are often epic sunsets….if it’s not raining : ) And keep an eye out for the birds ~ it’s not uncommon to see bald eagles, sandhill cranes, snow geese, or tundra swans in & around Sauvie Island, particularly up by Warrior Rock.

Photos of Sauvie Island…

Best Things to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

The Wapato Greenway Loop is one of the island’s most GORGEOUS strolls ~ & it’s pet-friendly, so bring your leashed puppy for a great easy walk.

Best Things to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

Sunset is an excellent time to walk the Wapato trail, as it takes you right along the water. It’s also one of the closest hikes to the Sauvie Island bridge, making for easy access.

What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

Bring your kayak & set out on the Multnomah Channel or the mighty Columbia River ~ all of which surround Sauvie Island.

Best Things to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

Another great walk is Oak Island Nature Trail: it’s a little further afield than Wapato, but it’s wide open spaces, bucolic views, & wide path make it a great place for a scenic walk.

What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

The wide trail at Oak Island Nature Trail.

What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

On a hot day, Sauvie Island’s beaches can get super crowded: but on a typical weekday, this is what you’ll find ~ driftwood, a longgg spit of land, & very few people.

What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

Pick your own berries at Sauvie Island Farms, Bella Organic, or Topaz Farms!

What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

You can pick berries at Topaz Farm ~ but you can also enjoy outdoor concerts in the summertime under beautiful, towering trees…

What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

Sauvie Island & dogs are a match made in heaven: I used to love taking my dog Dylan there for wonderful Sunday romps.

What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

In the fall, the best place to go “Pumpkin Patching” in Portland is undoubtedly Sauvie Island ~ where you’ll find numerous pumpkin patches, corn mazes (some scary!), & Farmer’s Markets that turn into epic outdoor fall festivals.

Traveling to Oregon in autumn? Check out the best places to find fall color in Oregon here… 

What to Do on Sauvie Island, Girl Who Travels the World

You may not be in the mood for a long walk: but you can also visit Sauvie Island to photograph the sunsets, which are routinely amazing.

Best Things to Do on Sauvie Island…& Beyond

People who love Sauvie Island will also love hiking in the Columbia River Gorge: it’s one of the most breathtaking places in Oregon.  Two of my favorite hikes there are Dog Mountain (super hard!!) & Angel’s Rest (much easier).  If you’re traveling to Portland with a pet, click here to find out which are my favorite pet-friendly hotels.  And if you’re in Portland during spring: you simply must check out the world-famous Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival….one of the most photogenic places in Oregon.

Happy Exploring!

xoxo Noelia

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