Scappoose Bay Marina gets busy with summer kayaking
Whether you're a novice at the sport of kayaking or you've spent years navigating the waterways, check out the Scappoose Bay Marina.
From the Warren-area marina, you can kayak and explore nooks and crannies of Sauvie Island and South Columbia County.
But if you head out there, at least on summer weekends, expect a crowd. The parking lot fills up fast at the marina as veteran kayakers and newbies converge to enjoy the sport.
A person with a wide knowledge of kayaking is Camille Nairn, who is the rental lead at Next Adventure Scappoose Bay Paddling Center, located at the marina.
"The biggest thing we offer is a safe, entry-level opportunity for people who want to try kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding or canoeing," Nairn said. "We're lucky to have our shop right on the bay here."
Nairn describes the waterway at Scappoose Bay as calm and placid, allowing people new to kayaking to feel comfortable on the water.
Scappoose Bay feeds into the Multnomah Channel, the section of the Columbia River on the west side of Sauvie Island.
Kayaking can be enjoyed by all ages, and you just might run into wildlife, depending on where you go.
"You're definitely going to see a variety of birds," Nairn said. "You might come in contact with osprey, eagles and (waterbirds). So, if you're into birding, it's definitely a great place to come."
You might also encounter otters and beavers in the water, or spy coyotes and deer on the shore.
"Obviously, the time of the day does play a part in that," Nairn added.
Kayaking can be enjoyed all year, but summer is a great time to enjoy the water.
"It is open all year-round," Nairn said. "Obviously, a lot of folks like to come out when the weather is warmer, sunnier, nicer, but it's actually quite pleasant to be out here in the winter. You just have to dress for it."
Nairn continued, "Actually, on those cloudier days, with a little drizzle, it's really quite nice."
At the Scappoose Bay Marina public docks, in addition to recreational kayaking, you can try out stand-up paddleboards. Nairn noted paddleboards are becoming quite popular.
Next Adventure offers sit-in kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, pedal-driven boats, and fishing-oriented kayaks for fishermen.
You can also bring your own kayak to the public dock at the marina.
For many kayakers, the view is what makes it truly enjoyable.
"It's really nice, sort of estuary-type lands with native oaks around, as well as grassy lands," Nairn said.
According to Carolyne Weiss, who is a boat handler at the marina, visitors to Scappoose Bay Marina have come from such far away places as Virginia and Florida. Many visitors are from the Portland area.
As for the locals, Nairn said, "It's amazing how many people don't know this little place exists, or have lived out here and just have never came down."
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