Portland, OR: Columbia Slough

This kid-friendly paddle explores the narrow waterways of the Columbia Slough where heaps of birds and wildlife hide along the brushy banks.
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-Mapped by Joe Kurmaskie

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 2.0



Location: 45.5551834106445, -122.490531921387

From lot, go L and down a gentle slope to wooden dock


Location: 45.5552825927734, -122.488716125488

Launch boat and paddle E, tracing Upper Slough to Fairview Lake. Muddy shoreline lined with oaksand alders.


Location: 45.5550994873047, -122.485633850098

Swing boat S


Location: 45.5531349182129, -122.48503112793

Paddle under a bridge overpass; herons hide in cattail-lined banks
Optional: Jog R to explore side channel with small eddies and cottonwoods


Location: 45.5522842407227, -122.484985351562

Slough widens; dragonflies dart around; wildflowers on banks


Location: 45.5507316589356, -122.484367370605

Paddle to R of island into Fairview Lake; look for mouth of Fairview Creek during high season (winter and spring) on the R. Backtrack to WPT 3 and continue NW


Location: 45.5556488037109, -122.486503601074

Turn R into channel (heading N)


Location: 45.5581016540527, -122.481552124023

Drift along elder- and dogwood-shaded stretch; river is deeper and runs slightly faster. Kingfishers, turtles, and wood ducks all around. Follow to dam, then backtrack to WPT 7 and turn R back to dock


Location: 45.5553321838379, -122.496047973633

Explore more: From dock, head W to find plenty more creatures (green frogs, waterfowl). Paddleas far as you want (up to 12 more mi.), but a good turnaround point is @ entrance to Johnson Lake