Updated: 9 April 2018
Imagine an unspoiled wilderness area drifting aimlessly and effortlessly on a lazy river. The wind rustling through a forested landscape and sounds of critters about. Now picture the sun at your back and rays glistening off an oarsman’s water ripple; and with each passing river bend another connection with nature is made.
Reminding us, “Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with our past, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.” (Ted Turner, the Rivers of South Carolina).
If this sounds like something you’d like to experience in Portland, OR – you’re in luck. The City of Tigard, approximately 8 miles West of Portland is home to one of the best non-motorized boat launches on the Tualatin River.
“It’s watershed in northwest Oregon drains 712 square miles and ranges from the densely populated areas of southwest Portland, Hillsboro, Tigard and Beaverton to agricultural areas near Scholls, Gaston, Banks, Mountaindale and North Plains to the forests of Oregon’s Coast Range, Tualatin Mountains and Chehalem Mountains” (Tualatin River Water Council, TRWC.org). “The Tualatin River is the family-friendly river in Portland’s backyard,” said Mike Skuja, Tualatin River keepers Executive Director.
I can tell you from personal experience, floating adrift any body of water is a delightful and relaxing way to spend the day. Both my wife and I have kayaked the Tualatin River numerous times during summer months.
As an exercise activity, I’m confident in saying, if you don’t have a physical limitation – paddling against a slow current won’t strain the body. However, you’ll definitely feel the benefit of paddling exercise. Especially if you chose to move at a faster rate of speed. And for first timers, there’s no better way to learn how to go from beginner to advanced boating skill sets.
Regardless of skill, propelling yourself under your own steam on a river journey is a good-time experience like no other. And can be shared with family and friends – building found memories that last a lifetime.
If you don’t own your own boat and want to experience the Tualatin River… the Tualatin River Keepers (TKR) provide what you need at their rental boat launch area located in Cook Park.
Simply park your car in the public parking area near the river dock. The Tualatin River keepers rent Canoes & Solo-Double Kayaks for 4 hours at ~$40.00 and $10.00 more for each additional hour. Rentals are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day and begin from 9:00am through 6pm Friday through Sunday. You can also rent stand up Paddle Boards and single Kayaks for ~$30.00/4hours. Life jackets and paddles provided.
The rentals are open for business Friday through Sundays. Cook Park Summer hours are from 8am-Dusk.
There is no cost for parking or to launch a privately owned kayak or paddle board.
To learn more about TRK Rentals and prices visit their web page. http://tualatinriverkeepers.org/cook-park-canoe-kayak-rentals/
Good health to you and your family.
Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a member of the Tigard City Council. He is a strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2017 Copy right. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org