We are in the full gripe of winter now. This is our gray time of year. The last of the colorful Fall leaves are falling and we will be left with baron gray trees. Not the time of year to show the beauty of Portland. But if you are an explorer of the area it is a good time to discover or rediscover places less visited. One such place is Kelly Point Park. It sits at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia River. This is where the last major river joins the Columbia River before making its way to the ocean. For years I loved going to this Portland city park and walking the trails and beaches. Several years ago I stopped going. When I first started working on the Portland or Portlandia website I visited the park thinking this would be a place visitors to Portland should see. On that visit the rivers were running very high, almost flooding into the park. I saw no charm in the park on that visit and thought I could not recommend this place to visitors. But I did make a plan to go back at some point and revisit it. This is the nice part about winter here. When we get breaks in our rain, that is the time to rediscover places that would be over looked during the other seasons.
I had a chance to go back to Kelly Point on a couple of our clear cold winter days. Changes had occur since I was there last but I did find the charm I remembered. The rivers were running at their normal levels and that exposed a sandy beach that can be walked. While walking I found I was entertained cormorants, seagulls, ducks and geese flying by and swimming in the river. This is also where you can see all of the river traffic. There are large ocean going ships, river barges and tugs, motorboats, sail boats, and sea kayaks that can pass by you as you walk. You can also say high to folks fishing from the beach hoping to catch a salmon. This is also on the flight path to PDX for viewing aircraft coming and going. You see the commerce that makes the area thrive.
The park also has a large picnic area, historic markers (Lewis and Clarke missed the Willamette River twice on their travel), trails through the woods and hidden quit spots tucked away in corners of the park. This is an urban park surround by industry but still an oasis of green. I am now working on a page for the website that will to show why you might want to visit this place on travel’s to Portland. Greener photos will have to wait until Spring.