Grab a paddle, and discover the remarkable Willamette River – on the Willamette River Water Trail! Flowing through forests, meadows, parks, farms, and cities large and small, our nationally recognized water trail connects communities and visitors to Oregon’s celebrated Willamette Valley, and provides an accessible adventure in the heart of the Pacific Northwest.

Canoe, kayak, SUP, raft or drift boat- all of these craft can be used at Willamette Water Trail campsites. Take an hour, an afternoon, or multiple days to explore this wonderful river. Go ahead, soak it up!

Trail Updates

  1. Ash Island Acquisition

    Willamette Riverkeeper is thrilled to share that we closed on the upper end of Ash Island. This property will provide valuable habitat for wildlife, and a Water Trail campsite for paddlers. This 9.5 acre property is 1.5 miles upstream of Roger’s Landing in Newberg. Generally this stretch of river has very little in the way of low impact campsites, so for those traveling through it can make a useful campsite between San Salvador and Champoeg State Park.

    Thanks to all of you who contributed at every level, we appreciate your generosity and interest!

    While WR is not a land trust, we have a commitment to protecting habitat for the long term and providing low impact recreation opportunities along the Willamette River. We are also filling a critical gap on a stretch of river that is too often overlooked. With a light management touch, we will be able to better protect the property, and help improve the Leave No Trace principles we adhere to.

  2. Got Your Permit?

    Heads up paddlers! Begining August 1st, 2020, enforcement for compliance with the Oregon State Marine Board Waterway Access Permit requirements for paddle craft 10ft or longer begins. Failure to show the permit upon request is a Class D violation with a $115 fine, so be sure to get one!

    Permit fees will fund the aquatic invasive species prevention program and waterway access grants for non-motorized boating facility grant projects.

    Purchasing options are: One week for $7 (valid for 7-days from the date of purchase available only through ODFW), one calendar year for $17, and two calendar years for $30 available through OSMB online store. Tyvek tags are no longer sold.

  3. What’s New?

    Welcome to our NEW Water Trail website! We have rebuilt our site on an updated platform that will ensure reliable service as well as an optimal experience for mobile phone users (which is especially important since cell service is available throughout much of the the Water Trail). We will continue to build more fun and useful features into this site, such as a community discussion board, photo sharing capabilities, and enhanced mapping features, as funding allows.

    Be sure to explore an especially useful upgrade to our Google map function found the on “Explore the River” page. Thanks to our integration with Travel Oregon’s massive tourism database, you can now select for food and lodging options within a mile of the river including brew pubs, wineries, tiny houses—you name it!

    We have also added: new trips to our “Itinerary Inspiration” page, and under our “More” navigation tab you will find new “News” and “Events” pages, a Water Trail “Store,” plus updated information, videos, and NEW Water Trail campsites! So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

  4. Fairfield: a NEW Water Trail Campsite

    Thanks to a generous landowner, we have a new Water Trail campsite at RM 67.5. The campsite is at the end of a long peninsula, and has a connecting riverside terrestrial trail. The backwater hosts a massive Great Blue Heron Rookery, and the surrounding area is replete with wildlife. There is no land access to this site other than for Willamette Riverkeeper staff to maintain the trail, signage, and invasive weeds, leaving travelers with a quiet, peaceful, and private experience.

  5. New Map Project Underway

    The Upper and Lower Water Trail maps, while still quite accurate, were printed in 2006 – 2007. Since their printing, the river has changed course slightly in a few areas, islands have shifted, and new sites and features have been developed. In addition, inventory for the Upper map will run out by the end of this summer.

    With all this in mind, Willamette Riverkeeper is actively seeking grant funding for a new Water Trail map project. Our goal is to re-map, re-design, and re-print one comprehensive guide. This is a significant undertaking for our non-profit organization. If you wish to contribute as an individual, consider making a purchase from our Water Trail Store, or a donation to Willamette Riverkeeper! If you or your business would like to help sponsor this project, email Willamette Riverkeeper Deputy Director Heather King.