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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Poet's Beach and River Swimming

Poet’s Beach is now closed for the season. 

The 2018 Poet’s Beach program is modified from the 2017 program. In 2018:

  • The beach will not have lifeguards on duty. Visitors who wish to enter the water do so at their own risk.
  • Personal flotation devices (“life jackets”) will not be available to borrow this year.
  • Park Hosts will not be on duty and visitors will not be surveyed for feedback.
  • Picnic tables and portable restrooms will not be available this year.
  • Please obey all rules and regulations.

About Poet's Beach

  • Open July 12 through August 26, 2018
  • Poet's Beach will be open during typical park hours: 5:00am - midnight
  • Poet’s Beach is a sandy shore with river access, and an in-water swimming area delineated with a swim line and floats. The swim line’s purpose is to mitigate potential conflicts between swimmers and other river use, including boats and other watercraft. Because Poet’s Beach is not lifeguarded, swimmers enter the river at their own risk and need to be aware of the risks and potential hazards of entering the Willamette River.
  • Water depth is shallow in the area of Poet’s Beach
  • Permanent restrooms are available a few minutes’ walk or bike north of the beach at South Waterfront Park Garden, 1831 SW River Drive. Wayfinding signs will point Poet’s Beach users to the permanent restrooms.

Map of Poet's Beach

Getting to Poet's Beach

Poet's Beach is in South Waterfront Park, on the west side of the Willamette River and just north of the I-5 Marquam Bridge.

  • Walk, roll, or bicycle along the South Waterfront Park Trail. Bicycle racks are available at Poet’s Beach for short-term use. Please note that road construction may prevent access to Poet’s Beach via SW River Parkway. SW Hall St and SW Montgomery St are better alternatives.
  • If taking public transportation, the nearest Portland Streetcar stop is SW River Parkway and Moody Avenue. The nearest TriMet bus stops are 35 and 36. Note that road construction may affect TriMet routes; check before you begin your trip.
  • If driving, the nearest road intersection is SW River Parkway and Moody Avenue. Paid vehicle parking is available in the area.

Click for Poet's Beach mapped location

River Conditions

Remember, river swimming means colder water, and currents change depending on the tide, river level, and wind. Safety is our top priority, if you are not a strong swimmer, consider a Personal Flotation Device (PFD).