The Lower Columbia River Water Trail is a 146-mile water trail on the lower Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to the Pacific Ocean.
Ross Island is an oasis of nature surrounded by the city. More than 100 species of birds use the island during their annual migrations. It is also a working landscape: for much of the last century. While mining ceased in the 1990s, sand and gravel from other sites are still processed on Ross Island. Parts of the island are now under the management of Portland Parks and Recreation.
The Sandy River is one of only a handful of Oregon waterways whose entire lengths have been declared navigable — from its headwaters on Mount Hood’s Reid Glacier to its entry into the Columbia River just east of Portland. Portland Monthly shows us how to enjoy the closest wild and scenic river to Portland.
Explore this short section of the Willamette River just upstream from the confluence of the Tualatin River to discover the beautiful and sensitive habitats on several secluded islands.
On the Columbia River near Washougal, the 1,049-acre Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge consists of floodplain, semi-permanent wetlands, cottonwood-dominated riparian corridors, pastures and remnant stands of Oregon white oak. Winter concentrations of geese may peak at several thousand birds. Herons forage year-round and frequent the refuge from a nearby nesting colony.
If you're looking for a quiet place to paddle without driving two hours to get there, the Whitaker Slough is a best bet here in Portland. Part of the larger Columbia Slough, a shallow, the Whitaker Slough is composed of six lakes, three ponds and 50 miles of waterways.