Living in Heppner
The city of Heppner lies about 50 miles south of the Columbia River snuggled against the foothills of the Blue Mountains in north eastern Oregon. Highway 74, also called the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway, winds south from Interstate 84 through Ione, Lexington and Heppner. Rolling hills rising to meet the mountains on the east offer a beautiful view while canyons, rivers and scattered farms also contribute to the picturesque drive. Beyond Heppner, Highway 74 leads into the Blue Mountains and to the towns of Ukiah and La Grande, earning Heppner the name “Gateway to the Blues”.
Heppner was incorporated in 1887 and is the county seat of Morrow County. It is the largest of three communities in the Willow Creek Valley. Heppner is a great place to raise a family or retire. With a population around 1,400, the town offers small town living at its finest with affordable housing, a full service downtown, medical facilities, superior schools and a low crime rate. Most of our residents are employed in agriculture, government, timber and manufacturing. It’s a prime location, offering the best of rural living with convenient access to the larger communities of Hermiston, Pendleton and the Tri-Cities.
Two internet service providers plus wireless internet access provides broadband internet capability to Heppner. Additionally, Morrow County is served with a fiber optic network that links all of the Morrow County schools and government offices, providing excellent bandwidth for video conferencing and data transmission. The Oregon Trail Library District offers free internet access and can order books and other publications from among the 70 libraries and academic institutions via interlibrary loans.
Due to proximity to four streams, the City of Heppner participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. More information about floodplain management and flood insurance issues in Heppner can be found by clicking here. (See also: www.fema.gov)
Recreation opportunities abound in Heppner and the surrounding area. With an elevation of 1800 and a location in the foothills, the weather and climate are milder and access to the forest and lakes are only a short distance away. Camping opportunities are plentiful. Three major campgrounds offer a variety of options for tent or RV camping or anything in between. Cutsforth Park and Anson Wright Park offer tent and RV campers many amenities with hook-ups, tent sites, restrooms and showers. Since 2003, the OHV Park is a major destination for off-road lovers. We recommend that you visit www.morrowcountyparks.org for complete campground information on these three recreation areas.
Elk, deer and bear make the Heppner area a popular destination for hunters. Pheasant, chukar, Hungarian partridge, dove, turkey and quail are the favorite game birds in the region.
Fishermen will find a haven in the region surrounding Heppner. Willow Creek Reservoir is home to several fish species including trout, bass, crappie and catfish. Additionally, four streams meet at Heppner. Children love to fish in Willow Creek as it meanders through town. Penland Lake, Cutsforth Park and Ansom Wright Park also provide nearby fishing opportunities while the Columbia River, to the north, contains salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, walleye and other game fish.
The Willow Creek Water Park offers fun summertime activities to people of all ages without having to leave town.
Winter recreation lovers will find opportunity to enjoy the outdoors during colder months. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are favorite wintertime activities for locals. Numerous trails in the Umatilla National Forest provide plenty of opportunities for adventure and scenic vistas.