If you’re tempted to get out onto the Willamette River, take a tour or rent a sea kayak from Portland River Company (315 SW Montgomery St., 503/229-0551, www.portlandkayak.com), located on the west side of the Willamette River at RiverPlace Marina. The three-hour tour around Ross Island ($45) is suitable for beginners and gives paddlers a chance to see great blue herons and, oftentimes, ospreys and eagles. Kayak rentals for unguided exploring are available from the company’s location at 6320 SW Macadam Avenue (503/459-4050).
On the east side of the river, Alder Creek Kayak (49 SE Clay St., 503/285-1819, www.aldercreek.com) has a boathouse located near the Eastside Esplanade immediately south of the Hawthorne Bridge, near the junction of SE Water Avenue and Clay Street. A three-hour tour of Ross Island is $50. Kayak rentals are $30–40 for a half-day rental. From the boathouse it’s easy to launch into the Willamette River.
Both of these operations also offer canoe rentals and can arrange canoe-based tours on the Willamette River.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel