POSTED JULY 9, 2018
Willamette River swimming beach available July 12, 2018—August 26, 2018
Poet’s Beach, the City of Portland’s Willamette River swimming beach, will be open this summer from Thursday, July 12, through Sunday, August 26, 2018. Poet’s Beach is located in Portland Parks & Recreation’s South Waterfront Park - on the west side of the Willamette River, just north of the I-5 Marquam Bridge. First established as a pilot project in 2017, the beach will open daily during park hours (5am-midnight) for recreational swimming during the summer of 2018. Poet’s Beach is a sandy shore with river access, and an in-water swimming area delineated with a swim line and floats.
“The Willamette River is Portland’s largest public open space and natural area–but it’s often underappreciated and underutilized,” says Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Poet’s Beach is a big leap towards directing our citizens and visitors to places on our river we want them to go. Thank you to all those who made our vision of an urban beach on the shore of the Willamette possible for the second year in a row.”
All are welcome to join the celebration and ceremony on Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 10:30 am to officially re-open Poet’s Beach for the 2018 season.
WHAT: Opening Day Ceremony at Poet’s Beach
WHEN: Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 10:30am
WHERE: Poet’s Beach, under the Marquam Bridge on the west side of the Willamette River. More info on getting there is below.
Details: All are welcome to join City officials, members of the Human Access Project (HAP), Honoring Our Rivers, and members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for the ceremony at the beach site.
The ceremony will also feature children representing Honoring Our Rivers, a program and anthology that publishes children’s poems and art related to Pacific Northwest rivers and stewardship. A sampling of poems from the 15 years of the anthology are engraved into stones lining the walkway to Poet’s Beach. Children will read new poems inspired by the Willamette River at the ceremony. The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde (CTGR) will provide a blessing of the river and discuss the importance of the native words that the Tribes contributed to the stones at Poet’s Beach.
Poet’s Beach information is available at portlandoregon.gov/parks/poets.
- 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”) are allowed, but will not be available to borrow on site.
- No picnic tables or portable restrooms will be available during 2018.
- Permanent restrooms are available a few minutes’ walk or bike north of the beach at South Waterfront Park Garden, 1831 SW River Drive.
- Beach will be open during 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
- 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.
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.
- If taking public transportation, the nearest Portland Streetcar stop is SW River Parkway and Moody Avenue. The nearest TriMet bus stops are routes 35 and 36. Note that road construction may affect TriMet routes; check trimet.org before you begin your trip.
- Road construction may also prevent access to Poet’s Beach via SW River Parkway. SW Hall St and SW Montgomery St are better alternatives.
- If driving, the nearest road intersection is SW River Parkway and Moody Avenue. Paid vehicle parking is available in the area.
To view a larger map of Poet’s Beach, please click here.
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 bringing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
- For river swimming safety tips, click here.
- Concerned about water quality? The Willamette River is safe to swim and play most times of the year. The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services samples for bacteria and temperature weekly during the summer at five popular locations, including near Poet’s Beach. portlandoregon.gov/bes/CheckTheRec.
- For the latest on river temperature and conditions specifically near Poet’s Beach, check out portlandoregon.gov/bes/waterquality/results.cfm?location_id=7132.
- Do not swim in the unlikely event of a combined sewer overflow, which could occur during periods of exceptionally heavy rain. Alerts are posted at portlandoregon.gov/bes/CheckTheRec, as well as portlandoregon.gov/bes/overflow.
- Do not swim in the event of an algae bloom advisory; check status of algae bloom advisories at oregon.gov/oha/ph/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/HarmfulAlgaeBlooms/Pages/Blue-GreenAlgaeAdvisories.aspx.
For more information on Poet’s Beach, please visit portlandoregon.gov/parks/poets.
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