Beach Walking at Kelley Point and more

Kelley Point Park lies at the confluence of the mighty Willamette and Columbia Rivers, and while nobody will confuse it with a hiker’s paradise, it’s a nice place to get away from the rat race  in North Portland. As I was reminded by the helpful Portland Hiker’s Field Guide, it’s a great place to walk on the beach, so I went back out there a couple days ago with some neighbors.

First walking down the Willamette, then up the Columbia, there is probably at least a half mile of beach walking, which is unusual this side of the Oregon coast.


Headed downstream along the Willamette on a perfect morning

Crazy roots just above the sand, like a mangrove

Crazy roots just above the sand, like a mangrove

We occasionally passed fishermen and gawked at powerful tugboats and freighters in the river.

Seagulls on old pilings right off the point proper

Seagulls on old pilings right off the point proper

Looking down the Columbia

Looking down the Columbia–notice the pilings from the previous photo below the ship

One recommendation:  don’t make the  mistake of parking at the first little pullout once you’re on the park road.  Park at the second obvious lot, where a paved path begins.  Create your own loop between paved path, beach, a dirt road near the northern parking lot, and a great meadow.   It makes for a pleasant half hour or forty minutes of walking if you have no particular place to go.


If that isn’t enough of a hike, Kelly Point is about five minutes from the Smith and Bybee Lakes trailhead.  You can walk further there, or get out the kayak.

Kayakers at Smith and Bybee Lakes

Kayakers at Smith and Bybee Lakes

On a sunny weekend, these two spots make a great combination of destinations.   Just remember that no dogs are allowed on the trail at Smith and Bybee Lakes.

About Josh Baker

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ― John Muir

Posted on June 24, 2013, in Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Kayaking, Outdoors, Urban Hiking, Waterways and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I agree–a pleasant area. I am more fond of Smith and Bybee, even though it is shorter to walk. More quiet, more snakes, turtles, cords, etc.!

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