Willamette River: Roger’s Landing County Park—Newberg, OR
Getting There! — Map and Directions, about 25 min. from Portland
Crowds — Lots of wakeboard and ski boats on any given Summer weekend. Expect major boat wake if you go on a Saturday or Sunday!
Roger’s Landing County Park is close enough you don’t have to work too hard to get there and far enough from Portland to give it a “destination” feel. It has the added benefit of being in the town of Newberg, a delightful and sleepy little burg with charms all it’s own.
My paddling route on a doggish Sunday afternoon was a sweet and simple loop around Ash Island, a 137 acre uninhabited island southwest of the landing at Rogers County Park.
I’d done the loop before on a quiet weekday in June…this August eve was a completely different experience. If you are able to get out there during the week, do it, as going on the weekend will undoubtedly pit you against a fleet of wake boarders and tubers. If you need more practice balancing on rolling, choppy water, then the weekend is for you! I preferred the solace of the still weekday Willamette, I think I saw two boats the whole trip.
Put in at Rogers Landing from either the dock at the west end or the rocky beach to the east. The route I took gave me a solid two hour paddle, with a swim break of course. I paddled south from Rogers around the south side of Ash Island, rounded the southwest tip of it after about an hour and headed back through the peaceful inner channel. I passed the newly opened Chehalem Paddle Launch on the left, another option for putting in if you simply want to circumnavigate Ash Island without the added paddling from Rogers.
It was around 8pm when I came aground at Rogers Landing, and the sun was dipping into the still waters of the Willamette, casting a resplendent golden hue. A perfect Summer evening paddle!