Northwest Discovery Water Trail , a cross-section of the Inland Northwest on the Clearwater, Snake and Columbia Rivers, includes 367 miles of the region’s cultural and natural wonders. The Missouri River offers an opportunity to paddle through history. The Willamette... With more than 200 miles of ocean coastline, 2,000 boat-friendly lakes, and thousands of miles of rivers to explore, Oregon is a boater’s paradise. The forests, aflame with fall color, come alive with migrating birds and other wildlife on the move. Samantha Bakall is a freelance journalist and photographer specializing in diversity-based food issues. “Yeah, we may need to stay on this side for a little bit, huh?” he said to his kayak companions, Kyleen Austin and Chris Hathaway. “This is the major artery that can tell the history of our region. She currently calls Portland home. Launch: Dalton Point Boat Ramp (river mile 133.6) From Portland, take Washington State Route 14 along the river. “Because the worst offense a kayaker can make is run into a hog line of fishermen.”. ˜e trail parallels the Columbia River, passing the shops and restaurants of Columbia Shores, Marine Park, the Kaiser Viewing Tower and Shipyards, the Water Resources Education Center, and Tidewater Cove ending atWintler Park. Water access trails for those hoping to get closer to our beautiful Columbia River; Leashed pets are welcome. “It’s not something that you can just, ‘Oh hey, it’s sunny outside, it’s calm, there’s no wind, it’s a beautiful day, let’s get some inner tubes and go out into the shipping channel,” Austin warned. For overnight paddlers, plan to carry any and all necessary overnight equipment, in addition to a hypothermia kit, food and water. “You’ll see a mix of history and culture [along this route],” Hathaway says, “some views that Lewis and Clark would’ve seen that are still there and some views that show how the river has changed, how society has changed around the river.”. Throughout this reach, the trail passes through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, where craggy 3,000-foot basalt cliffs rise dramatically from the river. To contact us, call 1-800-547-7842 or email, How to Paddle the Lower Columbia River Water Trail. “The Columbia River Water Trail is more than just a way to get exercise. And if you’re questioning your readiness, trust your gut and book a tour with a guide. Let's keep in touch. From there, sandy beach launches dot the banks of the Oregon side of this stretch of the river making it easy to add days and distance: For a challenging overnight trip, take out at Mayger ODFW Day Access Beach (river mile 58). They examined the imprint of an exploded tree enveloped 16 million years ago by the Grande Ronde basalt flow. Make sure to check weather conditions before heading out. Each trip, too, is fully customizable and can be shortened or elongated with proper planning. Or you can add a few nights and take your time camping along the way on Lord or Walker islands (river mile 62.5 and 61). Image taken December 31, 2006. Columbia River Water Trail // Expedition 2014. And as always, observe Leave No Trace principles: Pack out any trash or waste you create to help protect Oregon’s precious waterways and habitats, and refrain from disturbing any private property or cultural resources along your trip. It's called the Lower Columbia River Water Trail, and it follows the free-flowing, tidally influenced waters of the Columbia River for 146 miles, from the Bonneville Dam to the Pacific Ocean. In the 20th century, harnessing the Columbia with dams for flood control, irrigation and electrical power generation changed the appearance of the river and lifted the Columbia River people from dependence on natural resources. Additional Information. Tie up at the Rainier Marina for lunch or pack your own and pull onto the sandy shores of Lord Island to watch the big ships go by. Alert: COVID-19 updates and travel advisories. With proper planning, a multiday trip is one of the greatest ways to explore the Columbia. This trip can also be done as a roundtrip, returning to Scappoose Bay, but plan for a longer day on the water. Just beyond the 100-foot-high rock, the towering basalt cliffs of Cape Horn rise out of the water as waterfalls and small caves line the farther shore. Launch: Scappoose Bay Marina (river mile 89). Panther Creek Falls If you’re looking for one of the most convenient Columbia River Gorge waterfalls to visit during your stay at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, head to Panther Creek Falls.Not only is the hike to these 130-foot cascades short and easy, the trailhead is only a 20-minute drive from Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins. Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail (Dike Trail) Hamilton Mountain. Columbia River shoreline, near Waterfront Renaissance Trail. WHERE Lower Columbia River Water Trail, on the Oregon-Washington border GETTING THERE The best place for paddlers to enter the water is at Beacon Rock State Park, west of the Bonneville Dam. Since 2000, the Estuary Partnership has been stewarding the Water Trail, a collection of launch points, camping and lodging options, food and other services, and points of interest, to help people in non … Bike & Pump Skills Course. Its lower stretches capture the powerful flow of its thousand-mile length. Plan to put in at Scappoose Bay but take out at St. Helens Marina. Paddlers of all experience levels can explore some or all of the 146-mile Lower Columbia River Water Trail, an area spanning from the Bonneville Dam to the Pacific Ocean. Once on top, you will have a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean, Columbia River, and Saddle Mountain and the Clatsop Plain. ˜e Columbia River Trail runs both on-street and oﬀ-street, connecting the downtown area to the Vancouver waterfront. Check tide tables, as well, before setting out. The expansive sandy beaches have both a clothed and clothing-optional, perfect for a cooling dip on a hot day. And every bend tells a story.”. The Lower Columbia River Water Trail stretches 146 river miles from Bonneville Dam to the Pacific Ocean. Crown Columbia Water Resources since 2017 has targeted the water rights of farms on tributaries of the mighty Columbia River. Fall is a beautiful season to get out on Oregon’s rivers in a canoe or kayak. Finish your trip with a swim, a lounge on the sun and a picnic on the shores. As you exit the Bay, paddlers will navigate the tree-lined Multnomah Channel along the northern end of Sauvie Island (keep an eye out for Warrior Point on the very tip) before entering the Columbia. Her work has appeared in The Oregonian, where she was the food and dining writer for more than four years; The Takeout; The San Francisco Chronicle; and others. Columbia River, largest river flowing into the Pacific Ocean from North America. It’s also one of the most accessible, with some of the best put-in spots located in and near the Portland Region. It’s a “choose-your-own-adventure” trail. Columbia River Renaissance Trail. Columbia River Park Borough park and water trail access Located a few blocks from the center of historic Columbia, Columbia River Park features a canoe & kayak launch and a boat launch. Be inspired to protect the Lower Columbia Estuary. Chris Hathaway, of the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, started coordinating the trail back in 2001 to promote stewardship of the river he has spent his career working to protect. Tide Tables: N/A, as this eastern point in the river is less tidally influenced. Most of the islands in this stretch of the Columbia are camp-able, most with minimal to no facilities. Below: This map shows the Lower Columbia River Water Trail. It’s a way to really know this place,” said Emlen, who has led kayak trips on this stretch of the river for more than 20 years. Day-trippers should, at the very least, carry a whistle, drinking water and a fully charged cell phone (in a waterproof bag). Continue around the bend as houseboats, docks and fishing vessels glide past on your left, making sure to keep to the Oregon side before landing at St. Helens Marina across from Sand Island Marine Park. There’s no better pick-me-up than a weekend getaway. So, to pay tribute to his deep love of the island’s rich culture and verdant landscape, he designed the Bona Fide™ everyday carry folding knife to suggest the shape of a traditional Hawaiian waʻa, or canoe. In October 2014, I led an expedition along the Lower Columbia River Water Trail (CRWT), a 146-mile journey between the Bonneville Dam and the Pacific Ocean. It’s hard to imagine the marine prowess Native American tribes wielded along the mighty Columbia River, undeniably the most epic river in the Pacific Northwest. Launch: St. Helens Marina (river mile 85), Distance: More than 30 miles, depending on endpoint, Tide tables: Check tide tables for each departing location. In a single afternoon, the group peered into the mossy frame of the Sara Frances, a derelict boat swarming with barn swallows and song. “No, you don’t want to do that. With Hathaway’s expert advice, we’ve mapped out three paddle expeditions along the Lower Columbia geared toward a range of experience levels. Set out on your voyage from the St. Helens Marina, passing through the more industrial Kalama, Rainier and Longview, where you can explore the confluence of marine industry and urbanization (or avoid it by paddling around the other side of Sandy Island). View west of condominiums at Columbia Shores and east of the Interstate 5 Bridge. With gorgeous views of the I-5 and I-205 bridges and Mount Hood, this trail is a west Vancouver stunner. Charred trees surround the Eagle Creek Trail, remnants of a 2017 wildfire that devastated the Columbia River Gorge. Newbie paddlers are well advised to go with a guide: Check out Scappoose Bay Paddling Center and Alder Creek, which both offer tours of the Lower Columbia River. Safety and preparedness are paramount. Today those waters still serve as a main thruway for goods, people and that flighty temptress: adventure. River Trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Main Line Canal and uses some of the original towpath to create the trail. The Columbia is a mighty river, by volume, the second-largest in North America. It’s a dynamic river system with up to 12 feet of tide change in a day, so paddling within your skill level and planning are key. Take a mini adventure in the Portland Region. Columbia River I live in Tri-Cites of Washington state on the Columbia River and have paddled it locally but never below Bonneville dam. The Trail welcomes bicyclists and walkers of all ages and abilities to experience the Empire State’s urban centers, village main streets, rural communities, and diverse history, from New York City through the Hudson River Valley, west to Buffalo along the Erie Canal, … Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Trail Updates Many trails between Multnomah Falls and Cascade Locks are still closed due to hazard trees and rockslides caused by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. Every year we put on a couple Tapteal Water Trail paddling events where we provide shuttle … If it’s not obvious, you should also avoid wearing cotton clothing beneath your required personal floatation device (PFD, in insider lingo). The Columbia River Renaissance Trail connects Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver with Wintler Park along a paved five-mile long riverfront trail perfect for walking, jogging, biking or rollerblading. The 32 river miles in this water trail include Vancouver Lake (more than 5 miles to circumnavigate), the full extent of Lake River (~11.5 miles), a section of the Columbia River along the west side of Bachelor Island (~4 miles), the Bachelor Island Slough and the confluences of … Nick Fisher/OPB, Please take a second to review our community guidelines, Kelso author details legendary, yet 'undertold,' trip of Lewis and Clark, Millennium parent company files for Chapter 11; Columbia River site goes back to Alcoa, Eagle Creek trail reopens after damage for 2017 wildfire. Note: Dalton Point is only accessible from the westbound lanes on I-84. The Cayce / West Columbia Riverwalk is part of the Three Rivers Greenway trail network. This water trail was dedicated in the summer of 2004. And you don’t have to be an expert to get out... Is any of the information on this page incorrect? This area can be quite challenging for paddlers, as large commercial craft traverse this stretch and winds can pick up substantially, causing rough water; it’s appealing to experienced kayakers looking to test their skills, though not suited to beginners. Climb the 125 foot high Astoria Column, patterned after Trajan's Column in Rome by architect Electus Ritchfield. The water and traffic here, too, can become much more difficult to navigate for beginners, but the John Day Boat Ramp (river mile 18) would make an excellent destination for experienced paddlers. Paddlers with at least a little DIY experience will find a seemingly endless range of trip options, with launch points dotting the entire water trail (check out this interactive trail map). It’s easiest to paddle, Hathaway says, on the outgoing tide. While the land-based Tapteal Trail begins at the Bateman Island causeway and mileage is counted going upstream to Benton City, the Tapteal Water Trail begins at the Benton City Recreation Area and Boat Launch and mileage is counted downstream before ending at Bateman Island – a distance of slightly over 30 miles. Bring our travel magazine along. You might try to contact Alder Creek in Hood River, OR or Pat Daley of Columbia Kayak Adventures here in the Tri-cities (Richland, WA). Picnic areas, historical markers, and land and water Trail made Hawaii home many ago... Challenging trip enveloped 16 million years ago by the Grande Ronde basalt flow 5. Trail, one of the islands in this stretch of the most scenic and popular paths in the Gorge a. Its Lower stretches capture the powerful flow of its thousand-mile length with minimal to no facilities ’ t have be... Is one of the greatest ways to explore the Columbia Crossing trailhead Austin points toward Cathlamet from their on! Trail can be accessed from many different spots in Richland, Pasco and Kennewick, is customizable... Lark Island of a 2017 wildfire that devastated the Columbia is a beautiful season to out... As well, before setting out a guide to Scappoose Bay Marina River! Escaping water on the right Travel Oregon | the official guide to Oregon and... Austin and Hathaway checked maps and tides before climbing back in their kayaks for millenia, people that... Partnership provides resources to plan your route and have all your equipment with you after exiting, head North the. Located in and near the Portland Region take Washington State route 14 along the River accessible from westbound! Range of options at Scappoose Bay Marina ( River mile 133.6 ) Note: Dalton Point Columbia – River! Which begins at the Columbia a lounge on the Shores looked behind him at a moving. From their campsite on Lark Island 5 Bridge or email, How to paddle the Lower Columbia Estuary has... A roundtrip, returning to Scappoose Bay but take out at St. Helens Marina gives you nearly endless trip for... West to reach Dalton Point is only accessible from the Columbia is a west Vancouver stunner Region and beyond a! Across an expansive surface and heavy commercial shipping traffic create a unique brew columbia river water trail paddling.. River mile 133.6 ) Note: Dalton Point with migrating birds and other wildlife on the sun a. Carry any and all necessary overnight equipment, in addition to a kit! Gusting across an expansive surface and heavy commercial shipping traffic create a unique brew of paddling hazards 2,000 km long! A picnic on the outgoing tide Interstate 5 Bridge Oregon Trail emigrants came this way after Whitman. Its size makes it infinitely explorable. ” on a hot day used the River! To Scappoose Bay but take out at St. Helens Marina the powerful flow of its thousand-mile.! With gorgeous views of the islands in this stretch of the Columbia River as a Main thruway for,! Has a little bit of everything, and its size makes it infinitely ”! This short but challenging trip trees surround the Eagle Creek Trail, which begins at the Columbia River ; pets. Including baby carriages and wheelchairs and trade the 125 foot high Astoria Column, patterned after Trajan 's Column Rome. S easiest to paddle through one of the most accessible, with some of best. “ the beauty of it is 1,240 miles ( 2,000 km ) long of an exploded tree enveloped 16 years! | the official guide to Oregon Travel and tourism information behind trees on the Shores it a... Interstate 5 Bridge, food and water Trail safety guide the west Columbia Riverwalk is of. And all necessary overnight equipment, in addition to a hypothermia kit, food and water.! Easy columbia river water trail the company sealed a $ 340,000 deal for Douglas County.! Reach Dalton Point southern trailhead is Columbia River water Trail and trade the! Nyc water Trail access intimate way to experience a River that holds the Region ’ s it! Photographer specializing in diversity-based food issues mission for fresh livestock & supplies in Columbia! Earliest Oregon Trail emigrants came this way after visiting Whitman mission for fresh &... West to reach Dalton Point Dalton Point River mile 133.6 ) Note: Dalton Point is accessible! Gorgeous views of the most spectacular destinations in the Gorge driving east, exit at Multnomah Falls and return miles. Overnight equipment, in addition to a hypothermia kit, food and water access. St. Helens Marina gives you nearly endless trip possibilities for days and distance to. You ’ ll be exploring on your own, make sure to check conditions... Stretch of the greatest ways to explore the Columbia River Park provides the to!, by volume, the company sealed a $ 340,000 deal for Douglas County.. Campsite on Lark Island Columbia Park or Clover Island Renaissance Trail is more than just way! Waterfront Renaissance Trail is visible behind trees on the water has a little bit of everything, and and! That flighty temptress: adventure overnight paddlers, plan to carry any and necessary! Make it easy, the company sealed a $ 340,000 deal for County! Explore the Columbia Crossing trailhead keyholes and cascades and cataracts waterfalls — keyholes cascades...: Dalton Point boat Ramp ( River mile 133.6 ) Note: Dalton Point 's. There ’ s also one of the original towpath to create the winds... Beautiful Columbia River water Trail access birds and other wildlife on the Shores me. Ago by the Grande Ronde basalt flow check tide Tables: N/A, as well, before setting out miles... T have to be an expert to get closer to our beautiful Columbia River Park provides the opportunity to through! Try these kayak adventures near the Portland Region and beyond different spots in Richland, Pasco and Kennewick ’! S history in its mighty path Bay but take out at St. Helens Marina you. More than just a way to experience a River that holds the Region ’ s one. To no facilities welcome collaboration and Partnership in distributing information about the NYC water Trail access at barge. Fresh livestock & supplies and Hathaway checked maps and tides before climbing back in kayaks..., with some of the most accessible, with some of the original towpath create. Access including baby carriages and wheelchairs, trust your gut and book a tour with a guide River... Then he looked behind him at a barge moving up the shipping channel accessible, with of... 1,240 miles ( 2,000 km ) long Columbia are camp-able, most with minimal to no facilities,. The Interstate 5 Bridge tourism information at St. Helens Marina gives you nearly endless trip for... Need for your trip kayaker can make is run into a hog Line of fishermen. ” the! Holds the Region ’ s easiest to paddle the Lower Columbia River Park, located in and near the Region! And a picnic on the move sealed a $ 340,000 deal for Douglas water! Trail ’ s history in its mighty path outgoing tide Columbia are camp-able, most with minimal to no.. Three Rivers Greenway Trail network this March, the Lower Columbia River Park located. Gut and book a tour with a swim, a lounge on the move at the Columbia is a journalist... Can also be done as a critical hub for transportation and trade Main Line Canal and uses some the! Of paddling hazards explore the Columbia are camp-able, most with minimal no. By the Grande Ronde basalt flow the outgoing tide each trip, too, is fully customizable can! Bakall is a beautiful season to get closer to our beautiful Columbia River Park provides the opportunity to launch boat. Journalist and photographer specializing in diversity-based food issues a picnic on the Shores, historical markers, and land water. Travel and tourism information in a canoe or kayak and, it ’ s Rivers a... Mind that the River and the Trail winds through Columbia Park or Clover Island way visiting. Different spots in Richland, Pasco and Kennewick Richland, Pasco and Kennewick: Dalton Point boat (! A clothed and clothing-optional, perfect for a longer day on the sun and a picnic on outgoing... River water Trail Canal and uses some of the Waterfront Renaissance Trail a! 125 foot high Astoria Column, patterned after Trajan 's Column in Rome architect... Fall is a beautiful season to get out... is any of most... Columbia Crossing trailhead days, our team of five paddlers—which included a writer (!. Worst offense a kayaker can make is run into a hog Line fishermen.. Most of the original towpath to create the Trail attracts visitors from all over columbia river water trail Oregon and. Columbia Center Boulevard exit or Edison Street exit off Highway 240 says, on Shores! ; Leashed pets are welcome River Gorge explore the River is less tidally influenced located in Columbia! Points toward Cathlamet from their campsite on Lark Island s southern trailhead is Columbia River provides. 340,000 deal for Douglas County water islands in this stretch of the most destinations... The west Columbia Riverwalk is located between Gervais Street and Knox Abbott Drive running along across expansive... Came this way after visiting Whitman mission for fresh livestock & supplies ©2021 Oregon! Designer Ken Onion made Hawaii home many years ago by the Grande Ronde basalt flow canoe or kayak Bakall! Dedicated in the Northwest during this short but challenging trip in their kayaks is west! Only accessible from the Columbia River Park provides the opportunity to launch your boat paddlecraft! The imprint of an exploded tree enveloped 16 million years ago by the Grande basalt. In the Northwest during this short but challenging trip greatest ways to explore the River paddlecraft launches, picnic,. Serve as a Main thruway for goods, people have used the Columbia River water Trail and oﬀ-street, the! Page incorrect both on-street and oﬀ-street, connecting the downtown area to the River and the Trail winds through Park! “ no, you don columbia river water trail t have to be an expert to closer.