Scappoose, OR in Columbia County is very similar to its slightly-Northern neighbor, St. Helens. Both towns are part of an area that once housed a Native American population. In fact, the name “Scappoose” is of Native American origin, meaning “gravelly plain.” A stream that drains the southern part of the country was first named Scappoose, and this stream as well as many others run through and right near the town. As a result, it is a lush, green environment, perfect for renting a motorhome in Scappoose and enjoying the outdoors, the nearby RV Parks, and the quaint downtown.
The Great Outdoors
For a relaxing outdoor experience, visit Scappoose Veteran’s Park. Half-encircled by South Scappoose Creek and completed fenced in, the park is perfect for a sports game or a picnic with the whole family. The park offers lovely green lawns, picnic tables and benches, and a large gazebo. A four minute drive away and located near the public library is the Scappoose Veterans Memorial. A little known fact is that the Doolittle Raiders of WWII fame enlisted from Scappoose. Stroll around in awe and memory, reading plaques with names and historical facts.
If you’re looking for more of a work-out on your outdoor excursions, not even five minutes away from the Memorial is the Crown Zellerbach Trail. Part of this trail is a converted rail line and the other part used to be a road for logging trucks. With its gentle slopes and plenty of shade from trees, it is a good path walking, biking, or horseback riding. For those that love to vacation on or near the water, take your travel trailer rental from Scappoose to Scappoose Bay. This calm, flat estuary is a place frequently used for canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Sign up for some lessons and learn how to fish from your kayak or do yoga on your paddleboard. Scappoose is almost right on the border of Oregon and Washington, and while out-of-state but still nearby, the town of Ridgefield offers the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Take a slow drive around the loop that offers the opportunity to cruise right past swans, falcons, coyotes, and all sorts of other wildlife.
For more water-related activities, as well as farmland and another wildlife refuge, head south towards Vancouver and cross the Multnomah Channel of the Willamette River via the Sauvie Island Bridge. You will find yourself on a small island that was previously only accessible by ferry. Sauvie Island offers farms, nurseries, and gardens. In addition to the fruits and veggies you might find, a local beekeeper sells raw honey and a lavender farm sells lavender products of all sorts. Some farms offer hay rides, cow trains, and mazes for the kids. The island is also loved for its flat topography, making it a good place to cruise around on a bicycle. So whether you have bikes in tow or plan to rent, park your luxury RV rental from Scappoose and spend a day biking around the island or the neighboring towns and cities.
Sauvie Island is very close to Portland, and if you’d like to explore the city but would like to avoid going through the trouble of parking your motorhome in a large metropolis, find an RV park in Portland and hop on your bike. Portland is a city that most locals prefer to travel through on bicycle instead of car, so you’ll fit right in.
If you prefer to keep your Scappoose RV rental within the small town, visit Scappoose RV Park. This RV park provides full hookups, showers, and laundry. But if the nearby city is calling your name, you can find an RV park in Portland. Make sure that your RV is no older than 15 years and that $50+ per night is within your budget; if so, head to Portland Fairview RV Park. Only 8 miles east of downtown Portland, this park also offers its own amenities with a clubhouse, fitness center, and a pool. Another Portland option, 8 miles away south of downtown, is Southgate Mobilehome & RV Park. You’ll have less on-site amenities, but it is more affordable and still offers hook-ups, showers, and laundry and all other necessities.
Willing to drive but don’t want to stay in a big city? Did the nearby island intrigue you? Still in Portland but so far north that you won’t feel like you’re in the city is Island Cove RV Park. Near Sauvie Island and right on the Columbia River, this RV park is right by the water with beaches to swim in and natural wildlife to observe. An RV supply shop is on-site as well. The park accepts both long and short-term stays.
Another option just a little south is Reeder Beach RV Park. This park is on a farm with ducks and chickens strolling through the RV sites and osprey nests in the old maple trees. No Wi-Fi or TV at this park—it is a rustic and peaceful experience. Reeder Beach only accepts short-term stays, so it is perfect for a summer vacation on the river. It is advisable that you book either of these riverside parks much in advance as they are popular places to stay and tend to be full many months ahead.
Exploring the City
Whether you head to the nearby big cities or small towns, save a few days for exploring Scappoose’s community-oriented downtown. With just a few mom-and-pop shops for your shopping or dining needs, you still have some good options right in town. Downtown restaurants are mostly American-style homemade comfort food, but with a few ethnic restaurants in the mix that offer your favorite international foods like pad thai, Tex-Mex, and curry. Most restaurants are a bar and a grill, allowing you to purchase your meals and beverages all at once.
If you like strolling around old museums, Watt's House Pioneer Museum goes way back. Dedicated to preserving Scappoose's heritage for over 100 years, the building used to be a boarding house and was once the town's City Hall. The community-centered museum hosts events such as wine tasting and a Christmas-time Santa visit for the kids.
When you’re done exploring Scappoose’s downtown, visit the other small towns in Columbia County, like Vernonia, Clatskanie, or Saint. Helens. “Old town” St. Helens is just a 10 minute drive north and offers its own quaint downtown and outdoor options. Or head south to Portland or over the border to Vancouver, WA with your Scappoose, OR motorhome rental for more variety. Book an RV in Columbia County today and start exploring Scappoose, the small town right on the river that divides two states.