Swimming in Portland, Oregon is an important activity in the summer. Temperatures rise and people want to cool down, pretty simple. As green as a place that Portland is I find it a little lame that we can not even swim in the Willamette River, which flows right through the middle of town, without worrying about health risks. I am hopeful that with the completion of Big Pipe project that we will be able swim, float and recreate in the Willamette River in the future without worrying about e-coli. Let’s face it we all love livability in Portland, but in my mind having a river to swim in close to downtown is the measure of a towns livability in the summer time. When that day happens you can bet that Portland’s fun meter will rise 5 - 10 notches. So until that magic day I have compiled a short list (in no particular order) of suggestions for places to cool off and take a dip in PDX.
1) Sandy River - about 20 minutes from downtown Portland. Great natural area, crowded on the weekends but great for people watching.
2) Portland Public Pools - these pools are very family oriented, but even if you don’t have kids or a family it is unbelievable fun. Every day is like the pool party at Caddyshack. Kids are having a ball with floats, there are plenty of lounge chairs to take in the scene and chill. My favorites are Grant Pool, Sellwood Pool and Wilson Pool - all great outdoor pools.
3) Trillium Lake - if you really want to experience the outdoors take an hour and a half drive up to Mt. Hood and Trillium Lake. How about going for a swim and taking in a view of Mt. Hood?
Have suggestions for your favorite please let me know and contribute!
In the meantime why not help improve the Williamette River for Swimming check out Willamette River Keeper whose goal is to enable the Willamette to function more naturally, with cold, clean water, and provide healthy habitat for fish, wildlife and people!