The Most Expensive Lakes in Oregon to Buy a Second Home

Written by Chanel Coetzee
Updated: August 15, 2023
© Towers media pro/
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Some of the most stunning lakes in America can be found in Oregon. These lakes range from secluded and small mountain lakes to big lakes on the coast. Furthermore, these lakes offer a variety of water sports, including swimming, boating, and fishing. A few of these lakes even have quirky towns nearby where you can find shops and restaurants. Oregon is the perfect place to purchase a second home; it has several absurdly beautiful alpine lakes that have become popular with tourists and locals. The state contains many lakes with sandy beaches perfect for summer days spent with family, relaxing, and swimming. Also, it is a haven for fishermen as it brags with crystal clear lakes that make for excellent fishing. Some of the most expensive lakes in Oregon to buy a second home include Lake Oswego, Fishhawk Lake, Neacoxie Lake, Detroit Lake, and Lake Billy Chinook.

Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego Water
Lake Oswego is one of the most expensive lakes on which to own a home in Oregon.
Image: Towers media pro, Shutterstock

©Towers media pro/

The picturesque Lake Oswego City in Oregon forms part of Clackamas County. It is situated about 8 miles from Portland on the banks of the impressive Oswego Lake. The town was founded in 1847 and was the hub of Oregon’s short iron industry in the late 19th century. Additionally, it is one of the wealthiest communities in Oregon and includes some of the most expensive homes in this state. You can expect to pay more than $900,000 on average for a house in Lake Oswego City.   

These extremely high prices are linked to the highly desirable lifestyle and limited supply. Also, the community of Lake Oswego values the environment as well as family. Downtown Lake Oswego boasts many communal spaces, which include the Lakewood Centre for the Arts, the public library, and Millennium Plaza Park. The latter hosts many events and has a very popular weekly summer farmers market. This lovely city prides itself on cleanliness and keeps its public spaces in pristine condition.  

Lake Oswego is a privately owned lake; therefore, it has restricted access to certain areas. However, there are a few city-owned swim parks that the public can use. These are full of people boating, swimming, and fishing in the summer months. Additionally, the Portland airport is conveniently situated about a 30-minute drive by car. Also, this town is perfect for nature lovers as there are many national parks nearby, including the Tillamook State Forest, Clatsop State Forest, and Mount Hood National Forest.

Oswego Lake has a multitude of fish, such as:

  • Carp
  • Sheepshead
  • Bullhead
  • Pan Fish
  • Yellow Perch
  • Channel Fish
  • Walleye
  • Northern Pike
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Steelhead
  • Salmon (Coho and Rainbow)
  • Chinook

Fishhawk Lake

Fishhawk Lake is a beautiful small lake in the Coastal range of Oregon about 70 miles from Portland. It is a private man-made lake. The photo illustrates the drainage channel and the reflection.
Fishhawk Lake is a beautiful small lake in the Coastal Range of Oregon, about 68 miles from Portland.
Image: BeaulieuPhotograph, Shutterstock


Fishhawk Lake is situated on Routes 47 and 26, just 68 miles north of downtown Portland. This lake offers a sophisticated community atmosphere. Homeowners pay a yearly HOA fee to maintain the public spaces, which include a firehouse, tennis court, and community clubhouse. Additionally, most lakeside houses have private docks for securing canoes, row boats, and kayaks. However, motorboats are not allowed. Many hiking and biking routes offer a variety of wildlife, such as fishhawks and eagles.

Furthermore, deer sightings at the water’s edge having a drink or a river otter playing in the lake is common. However, cutthroat trout are the main attraction for many fishermen. Even though the lake has a catch-and-release policy, catching one of these fish is still a thrill. Luckily for residents, there is no public access, so the lake hardly ever becomes busy.

The lake has only 305 plots on its 300 acres. Some of these plots belong to the Fishhawk Lake Recreation Club and include a picnic area, clubhouse, playground, volleyball, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, two docks, and a boat launch. The almost 3-mile shoreline is full of many trees, which makes it feel secluded. The small town of Birkenfeld, which is not far away, offers many shops and live entertainment. Fishhawk Lake offers many water activities, but a popular destination close by for hikers is Lee Wooden Fishhawk Falls Park. Here you can find picnic tables and lovely trails that lead to a stunning waterfall.

Fishhawk Lake offers great fishing opportunities and includes fish like:

Neacoxie Lake

Also known as Sunset Lake, Neacoxie Lake shows off the best of lake and ocean living. It is situated between the Pacific Coast Highway 101 and the Oregon beaches just 4 miles north of Gearhart. Additionally, it is 15 miles south of Astoria and 80 miles west of Portland. The beautiful houses found on Neacoxie Lake bask in lakeside living while the stunning Pacific Ocean beaches are less than a mile away. So even though it is one of the most expensive lakes in Oregon to buy a second home, it is well worth it, especially for wildlife enthusiasts.

The Neacoxie Wildlife Corridor is just north of the lake, boasting amazing flora and fauna. Also, Shamrock Pines Wetlands, the Neacoxie Forests, and Butterfield Fen are all conveniently situated nearby. Furthermore, Astoria is a small fishing town just 14 miles away.  

Neacoxie Lake is also popular for its wonderful fishing opportunities and has a variety of fish, including:

  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Sucker
  • Brown Trout
  • Catfish
  • Rainbow Trout

Detroit Lake

Detroit lake Oregon
Detroit Lake is one of the most expensive lakes in Oregon on which to buy a second home.
Image: Tyler Gray, Shutterstock

©Tyler Gray/

Detroit Lake has a central location where one can discover the beauty of west-central Oregon. This lake is just 96 miles from Portland and 52 miles from the state capital, Salem. Additionally, the town of Detroit Lake is a prime vacation destination. The 9-mile-long lake is a popular spot for fishermen, boaters, and other sports enthusiasts. Furthermore, it hosts many fishing Derby, water-ski and wakeboard competitions, and bike races.

During the winter, snow-encased hills offer snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and more. Also, just 80 miles east is Bend which has many sports facilities, bustling industries, and microbreweries. Furthermore, Sisters, Oregon, is also close by and is well known for its world-renowned rodeo.  

Detroit Lake is a wonderful lake to fish in and includes fish such as:

  • Brown trout
  • Bullhead
  • Black Crappie Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Musky
  • Rock Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Yellow Perch
  • Rainbow Trout

Lake Billy Chinook

Motor boat on the beautiful lake at sunset. Billy Chinook lake in Oregon, USA, The Cove Palisades State park
Lake Billy Chinook has a wide variety of vacation homes, and although it might be one of the most expensive lakes in Oregon to buy a second home, it is well worth a look.
Image: Victoria Ditkovsky, Shutterstock

©Victoria Ditkovsky/

Luckily, Lake Billy Chinook lies about 130 miles from Portland, positioned below the cliff of Cove Palisades State Park. This 28-mile lake is notorious for water sports, fishing, water skiing, and house boating. Additionally, Lake Billy Chinook Airport offers a convenient way to get away for the weekend. The closest towns include Culver and Madras. These towns have all the shops and services that any house owner or vacationer might need. In addition, houses along Lake Billy Chinook have stunning views of the lake as well as Oregon’s Central Plains.

The Three Rivers Recreation Area is located nearby and offers a starting point for world-renowned kayaking and white-water rafting. Bend is just 45 miles south of Lake Billy Chinook and is Oregon’s hot spot for fine dining and microbreweries. Furthermore, this part of Oregon is known for its off-the-grid lifestyle. Residents here use solar electricity, satellites for the internet, and phones, and they get their crystal-clear water from deep wells. Lake Billy Chinook has a wide variety of vacation homes, and although it might be one of the most expensive lakes in Oregon to buy a second home, it is well worth a look.

Lake Billy Chinook is the only place in Oregon where bull trout flourish and can be harvested. It also contains many other exciting species, such as:

  • Wild Kokanee
  • Large and Smallmouth Bass
  • Brown and Rainbow Trout

Summary of The Most Expensive Lakes in Oregon to Buy a Second Home

RankMost Expensive Lake
1Lake Oswego
2Fishhawk Lake
3Neacoxie Lake
4Detroit Lake
5Lake Billy Chinook
Summary Table of The Most Expensive Lakes in Oregon to Buy a Second Home

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About the Author

I am a 33-year-old creative and professional writer from South Africa. Wildlife is one of my greatest passions and led me to become the writer I am today. I was very blessed to work with an abundance of wildlife (mainly big cats) and captured my unique experiences in writing. But I wanted to take it further, and I ventured into the freelancing world. Now, I get to spend my days writing about animals; what could be better?

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