A fun flat-water paddle in the heart of Portland. Enjoy a picnic on the island before heading back. An easy 5 miles of paddling. Duration: Half day.

This is a great little adventure for those looking to get on the water, but who don’t have time to escape the city. Paddle the loop around Ross Island for a scenic workout and a relaxing picnic.

To begin your loop, put-in at Sellwood Riverfront Park – it features easy parking and sandy beach at almost every water level. As you make your way over to Ross Island, keep an eye out for eagles, blue herons, deer, and river otters. Although Ross Island is privately owned, you are free to wander and picnic along the beach area (below the “ordinary high water mark”). When you’re ready to complete your loop, head out around the island and return to Sellwood.

Although Holgate Channel (on the east side of the island) is now a No Wake Zone, there is still a large barge that runs along the Holgate Channel…so keep an eye peeled and steer clear.

Pack List

  • Kayak, Canoe, or SUP
  • Personal Flotation Device
  • Picnic or snacks
  • Camera
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Activities Stand Up Paddle, Kayaking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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In the Heart of Portland

This is a wonderful adventure on a sunny day, because you can experience the beautiful city from a peaceful kayak. A relaxing and fun experience!

If you don't own a kayak, start this route at the Willamette Park and rent one at Portland Kayak Co. for $12/hour! That's what I did, and it was a blast. It was surprisingly peaceful, and it's nice to have such an adventure right in our backyards (for Portlanders). To read more about my experience, check out my blog: http://cleanspiritblog.com/2015/09/05/kayaking-around-ross-island-portland-oregon/


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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