Spend a day at unsung Scappoose Bay
"Scappoose Bay is one of the country's largest freshwaterbays," says Steve Gibons, coproprietor of Scappoose Bay Kayaking,"and no one knows it exists."
All the better for those of us who do. The outfitter is right onScappoose Bay, off the Columbia River's Multnomah Channel ―rich with wildlife (it's adjacent to two refuges), threaded withenclosed, verdant sloughs appealing to beginners, and close to theColumbia's more challenging waters. And although it's just ahalf-hour's drive northwest of Portland, it's far enough to beentirely removed from city frenzy and boat traffic. You can takeclasses or expertly guided tours, or just rent a boat to paddle onyour own. (Groups sometimes paddle the Salmon Dancer, a boat built on the traditional lines ofcanoes used by Northwest coastal tribes.)
Scappoose Bay Kayaking is at Scappoose Bay Marina, south of St.Helens on U.S. 30 between mileposts 25 and 26. www.scappoosebaykayaking.com or 503/397-2161.