They built it ― a 320-foot floating dock on the river downstream of Oregon City's thundering Willamette Falls ― and it came: a tour boat dressed up like a vintage stern-wheeler. Hop aboard this summer and let the Belle of the Falls take you as close as you can get (unless you're a salmon) to the massive cataract, where the entire width of the river free-falls more than 40 feet.
Now there's also a little depot where Amtrak stops four times a day, and excursion trolleys rolling through town to sites like the McLoughlin House and Barclay House, which the National Park Service protects. Climb aboard!
Belle of the Falls. WHAT: A fun faux stern- wheeler tour boat provides open-air excursion rides to Willamette Falls and beyond. WHEN: 11, 1, and 3 Thu-Sun through Sep 25. HOW MUCH: $15 for a one-hour trip. WHERE: Jon Storm Transient Dock, 1801 Clackamette Dr., off State 99E (McLoughlin Blvd.); www.belleofthefalls.com or 503/286-7673.