Located at the northernmost point of Portland's city limits and right at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Kelley Point Park is arguably one of the most underutilized parks in the city. If you are looking to bask in the sun next to cool waters, this is the perfect spot. Sandy beaches flank the banks of both the Willamette and Columbia, however swimming is discouraged due to the powerful undercurrent. Beyond the river’s edge, the park offers paved trails for strolling, numerous picnic areas, and a gorgeous lawn that is an ideal place to enjoy the serenity of bird songs under the black cottonwood forest.
The park is named after Jackson Kelley, a rather undistinguished New Englander who, during one of his visits to Oregon, unsuccessfully tried to establish a settlement at the river’s confluence. Owned by the Port of Portland for much of its history, the site (formerly a part of Percy Island) didn’t become a park until 1984.