County Offices
230 Strand Street
St. Helens 503-397-7210

Chamber of Commerce
2194 Columbia Boulevard
Saint Helens 503-397-0685

Featuring more than 60 miles of Columbia River shoreline and forests that cover 80 percent of the land, Columbia County is approximately 30 miles north of Portland and 30 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. Industry is on the rise but the traditional economic drivers of timber, dairy and horticulture remain important. The river is a major route for ocean-going vessels as well as popular for fishing and water recreation.

County residents enjoy easy access to first-rate educational opportunities anchored by responsive local school districts and options for private education. Portland Community College is a vital partner in serving the advanced education needs of individuals and local business, providing transfer degree programs and career education in Scappoose and St. Helens. Continuing education courses are available at a variety of locations throughout the county. Those living closest to Clatsop County have similar two-year career and transfer degree opportunities through Clatsop Community College, located at the mouth of the Columbia River in historic Astoria. Minutes from home, Portland State University maintains its renowned 49-acre downtown campus in the heart of a vital center of culture, business and technology. PSU is internationally recognized in the fields of urban planning, social work and environmental studies, partnering students with local groups in projects that tackle civic challenges that range from building watersheds to advancing the arts. This hands-on approach is one of many reasons why U.S News & World Report and The Princeton Review rank PSU among the nation’s best colleges. A number of private colleges dot the Portland area including academically distinguished institutions like Reed College and Lewis & Clark—the latter with undergraduate, graduate and law schools.

Respected healthcare institutions throughout the area ensure quick and easy access to state-of-the-art services and facilities regardless of your Columbia County address. PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center is just across the Columbia River in Longview, Washington, providing a full range of general and specialized care. Astoria is home to Columbia Memorial Hospital, one of several institutions adhering to the Planetree Hospital model that provides clinical excellence in a nurturing, peaceful, healing environment. Northwest Portland offers Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital, both a dedicated community leader and nationally acclaimed healthcare institution. “Good Sam” features the acclaimed Legacy Cancer Institute, Devers Eye Institute, Legacy Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon, Legacy Transplant Services, a Level I Trauma Center, and the Level I Legacy Oregon Burn Center. Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center is the largest hospital in Clackamas County with 329 licensed beds and regional centers for cardiac and cancer care among other specialties. Portland also features the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital with its Level I Trauma Center and the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. The surrounding campus is also home to the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Portland Shriners Hospital for Children.

Few places offer a higher quality of life than Columbia County, where every imaginable outdoor activity is set against a backdrop of natural beauty. Common pastimes include kayaking, boating, fishing, hunting, biking, hiking, camping, geocaching, golfing, tennis, horseback riding, ATV/motorcycle riding and cycling. Unique amenities abound from locally owned restaurants and shops to a vintage movie theater, picturesque marinas, indoor recreational facilities, and lush parks including two marine parks. “Charlie’s house” and Olde Towne St. Helens were featured in the film Twilight, the latter also a film site for Halloweentown and Behind the Mask. Caples House Museum in Columbia City stands as a time capsule of early artifacts and hosts community events on a hillside above the Columbia River. Near the tiny town of Prescott, Prescott Beach is recognized as one of the Columbia River’s finest fishing and windsurfing sites.

While nearby Portland is home to a world-class arts and entertainment scene, Columbia County is brimming over with exclusive attractions like 13 Nights on the River Concert Series and stellar productions by the Shoestring Community Players. The Columbia Aviation Center offers introductory flight instruction while land lovers can visit U-Pick farms, enjoy acres of display gardens, play on pristine beaches, and explore a bird-watcher’s paradise. The local racing association delivers fast-paced thrills at the Columbia County Event Complex, which also hosts a kaleidoscope of events. Scappoose is home to the Multnomah Channel Yacht Club, welcoming members and visitors alike to cruises and events around the calendar year. Newcomers will find a medley of friendly communities along with a pristine rural countryside that offer every imaginable home style and setting, from vintage bungalows to handsome country manors on multi-acre lots. Those who appreciate an unspoiled natural environment rich in water and woodland beauty in close proximity to the bright lights of Portland will find the ideal home in Columbia County.



City Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Located along Highway 30 just 60 miles northwest of Portland and 35 miles east of historic Astoria, Clatskanie is just 13 miles west of Longview, Washington for easy access to urban amenities and advantages. This small town offers a picturesque “Norman Rockwell” setting nestled in the green hills and valleys of the coastal range. While the city claims less than 2,000 residents, the city serves a rural population of nearly 10,000. A spirit of independence and local pride is evident in Clatskanie, where community efforts and contributions built the local swimming pool and a new library. In addition to a century-old July 4th celebration, the town welcomes throngs of visitors to colorful events like the Blue Grass Festival and Quilt Show. Located in the center of an outdoor lover’s paradise, Clatskanie offers outstanding hunting, fishing, cycling, hiking and water sports. Ocean beaches and mountain ski slopes are only an hour’s drive from home, while boating and windsurfing are popular local activities. More than 70 miles of Clatskanie River’s calm waters ensure idyllic kayaking experiences.

Columbia City

City Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Nestled against the banks of the Columbia River, Columbia City is only 30 miles north of Portland along Highway 30 and 60 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The rolling river dominates the city visually and ecologically, while pine-clad slopes form the town’s western backdrop. Also visible are dramatic views of four snow-capped peaks: Mount St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Jefferson. With the county seat and leading city of St. Helens just two miles away, the city has little commercial development but does offer a library, local parks, a marina, and the Caples House Museum. This historic treasure, along with a Community Hall and the Knapp Social Center, serves as a focal point for social gatherings and events while a sports and recreation club offers a wide range of athletic amenities. Fishing, sailing, and windsurfing are all popular pastimes. Residents enjoy watching river traffic, particularly on Fleet Day when military ships travel past the city on their way to Portland for the annual Rose Festival celebration.


City Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Taking for its slogan “Spirited City on the Mighty Columbia,” the Rainer area boasts a colorful and varied legacy, from the Lewis & Clark Trail to impressive views of the namesake Mount Rainier and the volcano Mount St Helens. This small community nestles along the southern bank of the Columbia River across from Kelso and Longview in Washington State. The river offers some of the region’s finest sturgeon fishing and wonderful opportunities to combine camping with water recreation. Unique amenities include Rainier Riverfront Park, built on the dredge spoils from Mt. St. Helens eruption in the early ’80s to offer river views, beach access, sports courts and fields, and a skateboard park. The picturesque Rainier Marina, restaurants, and local businesses are just a short walk from the park. For most of the last quarter of the 20th century, Rainier was best known as the home of the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant, not only a major employer but a source of electricity for Greater Portland. Since the plant’s closing, the remaining Rainier businesses continue to provide basic services to those living in surrounding tiny rural communities like Prescott, Fern Hill, Hudson, Alston, Apiary and Goble. Expanded amenities are just across the Columbia River in Washington State.

St. Helens

City Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Situated at the confluence of four rivers, water-rich St. Helens serves as the county’s center of government, commerce, culture, and education. Just 30 miles from Portland, this picturesque city draws residents and visitors alike to the quaint attraction of Olde Towne. As a National Historic District along the waterfront, Olde Towne features charming shops, wonderful cafes and fine galleries while Victorian bed-and-breakfast inns invite travelers to step back in time. Among the urban amenities is a full-service education center for Portland Community College. Recreational opportunities are first-class in and around the city, from local arts and entertainment to fishing, boating, water sports, hiking, cycling, and horseback riding on Sauvie Island. Students of history can explore sites that were mentioned in Lewis and Clark diaries. Best of all, St. Helens is located in the Greater Portland area, brimming over with world-class attractions and surrounded by rural beauty and wine country. The closest cities in addition to Portland are Vernonia, Beaverton and Hillsboro.

Scappoose, Warren

City Offices

Chamber of Commerce

The second largest municipality in the county, Scappoose balances rural beauty with urban advantages that include a center for Portland Community College. Opportunities for outdoor adventure can be found throughout the area, with Scappoose Bay especially ideal for kayaking and bird watching. Seasonal farm-fresh produce is available at the farmer’s market in Heritage Park, also the site of many summer events. Watts House Pioneer is another local treasure, a 1902 Victorian home that displays vintage artifacts like wooden yokes used for oxen teams and a shawl worn by Elizabeth Watts as she traveled the Oregon Trail by wagon train. While many former industries have faded over the decades, Scappoose has emerged as a bedroom community for commuters to Portland employment centers. One unique artifact remains from a former candle factory, a towering silo covered in red wax and dubbed the Peace Candle of the World. The small unincorporated community of Warren located along Route 30 north of Scappoose and south of St. Helens on Scappoose Bay expands the options for small-town living near expanded amenities.


City Hall

Chamber of Commerce

Located along the Nehalem River in a valley nestled on the eastern side of the Northern Oregon Coastal Range, Vernonia features lovely woodland surroundings along with abundant streams and parks. Campers, hikers, cyclists and equestrians are able to enjoy 25 miles of trails that crisscross the vast beauty of 1,800 acres of rolling hills, forest glades, cascading streams and brilliant wildflowers. The Vernonia area is home to seven city parks, Stub Stewart State Park, a local golf course, and the 21-mile Banks-Vernonia Trail for relaxing walks along an abandoned railroad path. Vernonia Lake, once the mill pond of the Oregon-American Lumber Company, now invites anglers to fish for bass, crappie, perch, bluegill and rainbow trout. The city’s proud history is preserved in displays at the Historic Pioneer Museum, from logging information to artifacts from early settlers of the Nehalem Valley region. A growing business base, excellent local services, and active civic and social groups add to the quality of life.

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