The 5-mile stretch of the Willamette River between Jon Storm Park and George Rogers City Park offers a relaxing and scenic tour for kayakers, canoeists, and paddle boarders. Starting from Jon Storm Park, you can drop in at a boat ramp with a convenient, adjacent parking lot. This put-in point allows you to paddle a short distance back upstream (heading south) on the Willamette River, passing underneath the War Veterans Memorial Freeway Bridge on the way to view the Willamette Falls. The current is strong at Willamette Falls, so while you can get close enough for a good view, you’ll struggle to paddle close enough to be sprayed by the mist of the falls.
While paddling north downstream, we saw numerous salmon, four sea lions, a bald eagle, and a range of other animals—and this was all in just three hours. In addition to the wildlife, heading down this section of the Willamette will take you by four islands and multiple parks, many of which provide good locations to stop for fishing or to enjoy a lunch.
George Rogers City Park in Lake Oswego is a good location to pull your vessel back out of the water; there is a long, flat beach and a boat ramp option. If you’d like to make this a day-long paddle trip, consider tacking this trip onto the George Rogers City Park to Cathedral Park adventure.