Clackamas Water Trail Update
June 2023, CLACKAMAS RIVER, OR
Hidden Treasure: Portland’s most popular river float
The Clackamas Water Trail covers the 22 mile undammed lower portion of the Clackamas River in Oregon, with dozens of class I riffles and a few class II rapids. The river is home to endangered salmon, drinking water for over 300,000 Oregonians, and a recreational outlet for thousands.
Go to the website to go to the river
As you look forward to floating a section of the Clackamas Water Trail this summer – picnicking or swimming at one of its parks, or fishing, canoeing, kayaking or drift boating its relatively gentle waters – visit the Clackamas Water Trail website (www.clackamaswatertrail.org) to help you plan your trip.
Created last year through a collaboration of local agencies and nonprofits (and managed by We Love Clean Rivers and Clackamas River Water Providers) the Clackamas Water Trail website provides river trip itineraries, safety tips, and general information of the natural history of the river and its watershed. It also highlights local outfitters and other information to safely and comfortably float the river.
Most importantly, the website features an interactive map that shows key locations like public boat launches, local and state parks, ongoing river restoration sites, restrooms, all 72 named riffles and rapids, and river section distances with estimated float times. Use it to explore a new section (and perhaps avoid the overcrowded Barton to Carver section – the river is bound to be crowded on any day above 90 degrees!) or learn more about the river you may have known your whole life.
The online map and website sprung out of experiences with River Ambassador volunteers in 2019 to 2021, who noticed a lack of an informational website for the entire lower Clackamas and few river maps at the launches (and none for the entire 22 miles).
*New* Map Sign at Riverside Park
Echoing the design of the online map, the first outdoor map sign and kiosk was installed at Riverside Park on June 25th, 2023.
Built with Northwest native and salvaged wood, the sign kiosk is held up with juniper posts and framed with western red and port orford cedars. The map sign is located in the prime gathering area at the top of the Riverside Park boat launch. It will also allow for Stash the Trash bags and loaner Life Jackets to hang from the structure.
The map design was created by award-winning cartographer, Dave Imus, and the rustic sign kiosk was designed by We Love Clean Rivers and built by volunteers. The thematic map design highlights the same attributes of the online map, and also shows the entirety of the 22 mile Clackamas Water Trail at a large scale and provides perspective for visitors.
While the website can provide real-time data about river conditions, the physical map can reinforce important landmarks for safety and learning (rapid names, bridges, parks, river miles, etc.). It also shows the proximity of the river to Oregon City, Portland (9 miles as the crow flies from map corner), and other towns in the vicinity.
The goal is to install these 4 foot wide metal map signs at each of the 7 boat launches and at 3 of the popular public access parks along the Clackamas Water Trail. Some will go with existing park signage; others will need their own new kiosk.
Visit the Clackamas Water Trail
Come soon to Riverside Park to see the map sign and kiosk. Whether you are there to fish, picnic, watch a baseball game, swim or paddle, we welcome your feedback on the project.
And visit the Clackamas Water Trail anytime online at www.clackamaswatertrail.org and on-the-water when conditions are right. Either way we want to help you safely enjoy and steward the Clackamas River!
Local Businesses can support the Clackamas Water Trail and its ongoing conservation!
We welcome sponsorships, donations, and any value-in-kind contributions to support river cleanups, improvements to river access, and in general promote sustainable recreation on the incredible Clackamas River. We Love Clean Rivers is a 501(c)3 non profit organization, and all contributions are tax deductible.
For more information about the Clackamas Water Trail and other work of We Love Clean Rivers, please contact Matt Taylor at (541) 921-0316 or email@example.com.
Conceptual drawings of sign kiosk
Satellite image of sign location
We Love Clean Rivers is an Oregon nonprofit focused on community based river stewardship projects. They clean high use rivers by mobilizing the recreation community and provide expertise in sustainable river recreation planning and management.