History & Heritage Trip - Explore Wilsonville
ExploreHistory & Heritage Trip

History & Heritage Trip

Stay in the heart of it all: Wilsonville. Whether you’re visiting for a few hours or a few days, you’ll find History & Heritage Trip itineraries here packed with ideas to help you plan your trip.


  • Tualatin Ice Age Trail
  • Oregon Trail
  • Old Town and Charbonneau Walking Tours
  • Historic Cemeteries
  • Canby Ferry

2 Days

40 Miles

10 Stops

Day 1

Push through the boundaries of time and launch back 18,000 years at the Tualatin Ice Age Trail (A) where you can unearth evidence of a prehistoric world frozen behind ancient ice and rock. The self-guided tours feature the discovery sites where the archeological remains of a mastodon and ground sloth were found. Choose from seven tours that tell the Oregon story with details of landslide, flood and fossil. The “Tour for a Rainy Day” takes visitors inside the Tualatin Heritage Center.

Next, head to the Pleasantview Cemetery (B), the largest cemetery in Clackamas County, where settlers who were not affiliated with an established church were laid to rest beneath unmarked graves. More evidence of past heroes can be found at the nearby Stafford Baptist Church and Robert Bird Cemetery. If you head further north, you can find the Lone Firs Cemetery near Portland to take in the lush green preservation that is the final resting place of veterans, front-line heroes, women’s suffragists, Chinese workers and asylum patients.

The Oregon Korean War Memorial (C) is a must-see, honoring the lives of servicemen in the Korean War. The names of 287 fallen Oregon servicemen are etched into a 94-foot-long Wall of Honor forged from granite and guarded by a line of 30-foot flag poles. Visitors can pay homage to the memorial on the brick terrace, which serves as the centerpiece of Wilsonville’s Town Center Park.

Finish the day walking through Wilsonville’s Old Town at Boones Ferry Park, home of the Tauchman House (D). This walking tour features Wilsonville landmarks that date back to the turn of the 20th century. Highlights include Aden’s Store and Home from 1897 and the site of Bill Flynn’s 1905 saloon, which was a favorite among wayfarers who would park their wagon’s out front waiting for the Boone’s Ferry. Nestled in Boone’s Ferry Park is the residence of former Ferry Operator Emil Tauchman, which served as Wilsonville City Hall in 1971.

Two older adults paying respects at the Oregon Korean War Memorial
Pay respect to the Oregon servicemen who lost their lives in the Korean War.

Day 2

Begin your morning into Oregon’s history and heritage at the Canby Ferry (E), where the first Oregonians cast handmade rafts from the Willamette riverbank centuries ago. Starting at the ferry will give you scenic daytime views as you embark on a day of historic exploration. After setting foot on the south side of the river, stop at the Baker Prairie Cemetery (F), established in 1863.

Make your way down to the Old Aurora Colony Museum (G), located in Oregon’s first National Historic District, and step through time to walk in the shoes of 19th century colonistsThe five-building museum complex explores how colonists prospered through communal living. Learners both young and old can enjoy hands-on activities and self-guided tours to discover what it meant to be an Aurora colonist.

Follow the example of Oregon settlers and “go west” for 9 miles until you find the Champoeg State Heritage Area (H). There, you will learn about life on the Oregon frontier and the first Oregon government, established in the 1800s. Further west of Champoeg is the Newell Pioneer Village and museum (I), where you can immerse yourself deeper into Oregon’s legacy and walk the same halls as historic figures like the first Speaker of the House in Oregon’s government, Robert Newell. Tour the Robert Newell House and feel history come to life with the mid-19 century artifacts that furnish his two-story home.

You can also find the Pioneer Mother’s Memorial Cabin in the village. Dedicated to the brave pioneer mothers who forged out west on the Oregon Trail, the log cabin proudly stands four times larger than the 1929 original. The Newell complex tour also includes the one-room schoolhouse Butteville Academy and the Butteville Jail. Many of the treasures inside this village replica are donations from the descendants of pioneer families.

End the day in Butteville. This site is as historic as it is stunning between walkable trails and the riverside that adorn landmarks like the Butteville General Store (J), the first operating store in Oregon and the Butteville Cemetery. Just 12 minutes away is the St. Paul Catholic Church and St. Paul Cemetery. The oldest brick building in the Pacific Northwest has been in continuous use since 1846, and the cemetery holds the remains of early settlers.

Trip Tips

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Extra points if they’re waterproof. Wear reflective clothing to stay safe through dusk and dawn. Wilsonville makes a great basecamp for your history & heritage trip. Stay the night (or two). Find local restaurantsbreweries and wineries scattered throughout Wilsonville to keep you energized.