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. NEW: Digital Download Maps

    Looking for a map? While hard copies of the Upper Willamette Water Trail map (Eugene area to Albany) are permanently sold out, we now have a solution!

    For the first time ever, downloadable PDF files of both the Upper and Lower Water Trail maps are now available for sale in our store.  The Lower Willamette Water Trail map (Buena Vista to the Columbia River) is still available in print (on water resistant paper), and can also be purchased from the store along with the digital map bundle.

    Your purchases from our store will directly support the new Water Trail mapping project, as well as Water Trail stewardship, improvements and education efforts.  Thanks for your support! 

  2. 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 and campsites have shifted, and new sites and features have been developed. In addition, inventory for the Upper map ran out by the end of summer 2020.

    With all this in mind, Willamette Riverkeeper has secured grant funding for a new Water Trail map project. Their goal is to re-map, re-design, and re-print one comprehensive guide, and have that be availble by the end of 2021. This is a significant undertaking for their 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.

  3. 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.

  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. Got Your Permit?

    Heads up paddlers! Waterway Access Permits are required for paddle craft 10ft or longer. Failure to show the permit upon request is a Class D violation with a $115 fine, so be sure to get one!

    Permit fees 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.