Top 5 Kayaking Spots in Portland
- Port Townsend
When you’re searching for an Old Victorian Era ambiance as part of your journey, downtown Port Townsend is the best site to launch your kayak. Port Townsend, located on the Quimper Peninsula’s northeastern point, was formerly a thriving nautical center for independent boat builders and other skilled artisans. The Port Townsend Historic District is now a U.S. National Landmark with a plethora of enjoyable things to do, such as world-class restaurants, theater, shopping, and hotels.
Despite the fact that starting from Fort Worden puts you in more open water than embarking from the waterfront, you can still hug the shore and see a lot of sites. You’ll see beaches, the Point Wilson Lighthouse, and the Port Townsend Marine Science Center as you paddle by.
- Columbia River
This is yet another must-see for kayakers in the Portland area, as it is located just north of the city. It serves as the state boundary between Oregon and Washington. One thing to keep in mind is that it is a large body of water, so kayaking here can be challenging depending on how far and how long you want to go.
While the location is convenient, it is not the finest place to visit to relax. It will be crowded and noisy because you will be sharing the river with speedboats and probably freight boats.
- Rogue River
The Rogue River is a must-see for advanced kayakers looking for the best kayaking sites in Oregon. The Cascade River travels through the Cascade Mountains and is 43 miles long. The voyage will begin on a peaceful and flat stretch of the river, giving you plenty of time to get a sense of what lies ahead. Following that, you’ll encounter little rapids and more difficult sections.
Many paddlers consider it a must-do because it is one of the Wild and Scenic Rivers. If you’re planning a multi-day kayaking excursion, it’s also a great option. If you want to have a good time on the river while staying safe, learn the basics of rough water kayaking so you’re ready for anything.
- Sparks Lake
This small lake is ideal for novice paddlers and those interested in exploring the tough terrain. For overnight outings, there are many campgrounds along the coast of Sparks Lake, and the Deschutes National Forest provides a magnificent backdrop for your boating adventure.
Sparks Lake is great for beginners and small children because it is only 10 feet deep. Many people also enjoy the 2.5-mile walk along Sparks Lake’s volcanic shoreline (the trailhead is named Ray Atkinson Hiking Trail). Sparks Lake, which connects to the Deschutes River, offers a tranquil retreat from the river’s hustle and activity.
- Alton Baker Canal
This two-mile kayaking course starts and ends in Springfield. Before reaching the Willamette River, the water will pass through Alton Baker Park. This is one of the best places to brush up on your kayaking skills because of the peaceful and level water. The best part is that it’s in an accessible location, so you won’t have to drive far to develop your kayaking talents.