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Ainsworth State Park in Oregon is located along the banks of the Columbia River, which also forms the state line with Washington. Just a few miles west is the large city of Portland, while directly south is the imposing Mt Hood National Forest.
Ainsworth State Park is in the Columbia River Gorge and the area surrounding it is mountainous, with many national forests and state parks to explore in your RV rental. It’s also an easy drive to the Pacific coast for a day at the seaside.
Located on the Columbia River, Ainsworth State Park naturally offers great access to water sports facilities. You can enjoy windsurfing, kite-boarding, and kayaking along the river, with equipment available to hire locally.
Hiking is understandably popular in the area, with many local marked trails and camping with an RV at Ainsworth State Park gives you easy access to them all. You can either drive the short distance to the Horsetail Falls Trailhead or follow the USFS Trail #400 that runs past the campground to the trailhead.
Here you will find four hiking trails ranging from easy to hard. Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls Trail is an easy, under one-mile out and back hike that is great for kids. The walk takes you through very pretty countryside and ends at a beautiful waterfall.
A little more difficult and rated as moderate is the Oneonta Trail and Gorge Trail (short option). This is a loop of just over two miles and is suitable for kids, but does have an elevation gain of over 520 feet along the route. You can bring your pets along on this trail, but they must be kept on a leash at all times.
A longer and more difficult version of the Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls Trail takes you further up into the mountain and climbs over 1800 feet along the almost six-mile out and back route. The hike is graded as hard, so not suitable for kids, but dogs are allowed so long as they are kept on a leash. The trail passes four waterfalls and is great for bird-watching and fishing, as it follows the Oneonta Creek.
Finally, the Rock of Ages and Horsetail Creek Loop is a nine-mile loop that gains over 3,280 feet in height along the way. There are great views, and it passes a waterfall. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on this trail, and since it is graded as difficult, it’s not really suitable for children.
There are many more hiking trails along the Columbia River Gorge, and all are very easy to access while camping at Ainsworth State Park.
Bring your rental RV to Ainsworth State Park and enjoy relaxed camping set among the heavily wooded campsite. You’ll find over 40 full-hookup sites, just perfect as a base for exploring the area. The campground offers flushing toilets and hot showers with a picnic area and fire-ring at all sites.
The only other on-site facilities are a playground for the kids and a very basic stores at the site office, where you can buy firewood. Pets are allowed on site, but dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
There are very few facilities in the vicinity of Ainsworth State Park, but it is just off Highway 30 and a very short drive to the outskirts of Portland where you’ll find all the facilities you need and plenty of parking for your RV rental.
Mount Tabor Park in Portland is a city park built on an extinct volcanic vent. At its peak, the mount is over 636 feet high, and a basketball court and outdoor amphitheater have been built here. It’s an easy hike to the top of the mount, and there are many different trails you can take. You can also explore the cinder cone, that has been cut away to expose the rock to visitors.
Also in Portland is the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, a Roman Catholic Grotto dedicated to the Virgin Mary, that is known as simply, The Grotto. It was built in 1924 by Friar Ambrose Mayer, who had promised to carry out a great work if his dying mother was saved. Now, it was declared a National Sanctuary in 1983 and now includes beautiful gardens to explore and holds an annual Christmas Festival of Lights.