Ross Island Kayak and Stroll

Ross Island sits in the middle of a river in the middle of the largest city in Oregon.  Knowing a company has long dredged the island for sand and gravel, I’d never before considered it as an outdoor adventure destination. Yet walking part of its shore after a short kayak trip, I found plenty picturesque scenery evoking 19th century landscape artists. Paddling from Sellwood Park in our inflatable kayak did not take us too long, but onshore, it quickly assumed the guise of an older, more natural world.  We opted to leave the kayak and walk around the eastern short, not understanding how large the island is, and we were wearing only water shoes on our feet.  

After rounding a corner, we navigated among exposed gravelly shoals along a channel between Ross Island and East Island.  In a couple months, the water level will likely preclude walking there. As it was, the shallow water and gravel made for unique walking.  Eventually, we passed a few boats anchored in the deeper parts of the channel. They appeared to be residential in nature.  Someone called out about needing to go shopping.  I wondered how they survived long term.

Meanwhile, paddle-boarders and kayakers meandered along the channel toward the point at which Ross Island opens into a large bay where the dredging still occurs.  There is much industrial machinery on the east side of the bay.   We tried to find a path into the heart of the island to cut back to our staring point but it was too brushy.  There were walls of blackberry bushes

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twenty feet high.  Truly, this was a good little adventure.  Next time, we will kayak further up the west side and check that out. Our kayak trip upstream was a little tougher, especially because we had developed a slow leak in the kayak.  I’d brought the pump and had to keep re-inflating.  That effort added to the adventure, but we were glad to be done.


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 September 4, 2014, in Adventure, Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Kayaking, Outdoors, Urban Hiking, Waterways and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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