River Discovery: Saturday, 2/23
What: “Early Bird Special” paddle trip at Smith & Bybee Lakes
When: Saturday, February 23rd; arrive @ 7:30am, paddle from 8am – 11am
Details: This is a wondeful time of year to explore Smith & Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. Our “early-bird” schedule is ideal for birding and for avoiding what can be strong winds that can sweep across these usually calm lakes. We will meet at the paddle launch at 7:30am, get on the water by 8am, and off the water by 11am. Jeff Locke with the “Friends of Smith & Bybee Lakes” will also join us and share his knowledge.
Smith & Bybee Wetlands Natural Area lies adjacent to the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, in north Portland. At nearly 2,000 acres this area is one of the nation’s largest protected urban wetlands, and is known to host over 100 bird species. Tens of thousands of waterfowl are known to winter in the wildlife area. Since a water control structure was installed in late 2003, re-creating the flood-and-recede cycles of the wetland, the area is returning to the extensive network of sloughs, wetlands and forests that formerly existed at the confluence.
Be prepared: Dress appropriately for cold, wet, and possibly windy weather! Pack a spare set of dry clothes and extra warm layers. We suggest wearing waterproof pants over fleece or long underwear. There are very few places to get out of your boat and stretch your legs, so be prepared to stay in your boat for the duration of the paddle. Be smart about your feet: thick wool or fleece socks and warm rubber/waterproof boots are a good idea, so are GLOVES or poggies. Also bring water, snacks, lunch, a hot drink, binoculars and your camera.
Directions: Located on Marine Drive between the Expo Center and Kelley Point Park. Take I-5 to exit 307. Go west on North Marine Drive for 2.2 miles. Turn left at the large brown and white sign. Map your trip here.