Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kayaking the Willamette from Corvallis to Albany

Our winter kayak trip on the Willamette River started in downtown Corvallis, Oregon. After our launch (see yesterday's post), the river moved at a respectable 3 mph. That meant we didn't have to paddle too hard. As we passed a bit of graffiti we were reminded we were in Oregon State University territory. I can imagine college students enjoying this river in an inner tube during warm summer months.

The river is wide and deep, with very few snags and no sweepers on this leg. Even though it passes through private farmland, the banks are lined with trees and gravel bars most of the way. In addition, there are lots of designated landings and park land along the way. It's a true natural treasure. A lot of the credit goes to an organization called Willamette Riverkeeper.

It took us about three and a half hours to get to Albany. Along the way we saw lots of great spots for primitive camping on gravel bars and grassy knolls. We want to return to give it a try. Just before Albany we found a narrow backwater bay. The flow was minimal, the shallows were filled with water plants and Kingfishers zoomed back and forth loudly announcing their presence.

There were several landings to choose from in Albany. We picked Bowman Park and were pleasantly surprised to find a boat launch and dock. That made exiting the kayak much easier. Our plan was to get a taxi back to Corvallis. A couple enjoying the park with their toddler son overheard our call and offered to give us a ride for gas money. That sounded like a perfect solution. So off we went to retrieve the Tempo and the end to a very enjoyable day. -- Margy


  1. What fun! Good for you.

  2. WOW!!! Envy speaking!!

    Happy Valentine's day. MB

  3. Hope you had a chance to check out the rest of the trip. We did have a nice time and would have loved an overnight camping on one of the gravel bars, but we'll save that for warmer weather. - Margy