Summer is well underway and August typically has the Portland area’s warmest temperatures so this is the time to head out on the water to cool off. Oregon’s Tualatin Valley has the perfect spots for water recreation not far from the comforts of urban areas.
This man-made lake in Gaston is a local favorite for fishing, boating and hiking all year round. It’s just 25 miles southwest of Portland, making it a perfect spot to escape the city and the heat of summer. Hagg Lake has two boat ramps and plenty of space for all kinds of water activities such as swimming, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, water skiing, jet skiing and motor boating.
The lake is also fully stocked with fish including rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill and more.
While you’re in western Tualatin Valley, Scottie’s Drive-In in Forest Grove is the perfect pit stop for a treat after a day on the water.
There is no camping at Scoggins Valley Park but it’s not far from L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park.
The name Tualatin comes from a Native American word meaning “lazy” or “sluggish,” which makes sense for this slow-moving, peaceful river through our patch of Oregon. The Tualatin River is perfect for beginners to canoeing or kayaking. It’s easy to paddle upstream or downstream on this meandering river.
Make a day of it by following the Tualatin River National Water Trail, which starts at Willamette Park in West Linn and meanders through Tualatin Valley farmland and natural spaces to Rood Bridge Park in Hilllsboro. You can stop along the way at any of 12 access points for a bite or a break.
Access points along the river include: Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro, 99W and Hazelbrook Road, Jurgens Park, Tualatin Community Park, and Brown’s Ferry Park in Tualatin, Cook Park in Tigard
Where to Rent Boats in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley
- Alder Creek at Browns Ferry Park in Tualatin — Rent stand up paddleboards (SUP), canoes and kayaks
- Tualatin Riverkeepers at Cook Park in Tigard — Rent stand up paddleboards (SUP), canoes and kayaks
Adults with boats 10 feet long and longer need a Waterway Access Permit. This includes rafts, stand up paddleboards, kayaks, canoes etc. Learn more about waterway permits >>>
Anglers older than 13 years must have a valid fishing license, available from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) (or call 503-947-6000). Licenses start at $9 for a juvenile license, $33 for an angling license.
Enjoy this sweet summer weather while it lasts by spending a day on the water in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley.
Please note: Face coverings are now required in all public buildings and outdoor spaces where you can not maintain physical distancing from people outside your household. Remember to dispose of masks and gloves in the trash.