A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Albany swimming holes? Not hard to find

Written July 3rd, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Saturday afternoon on the Calapooia River just upstream of the Queen Avenue bridge.

On social media, I’ve seen questions along the lines of: “Where can we go swimming this summer?” By now these people new to the Albany area no doubt  have figured it out, but if not, here’s a suggestion or two.

One popular swimming hole and sunbathing beach is the one shown in the lead photo. It’s on the Calapooia, which has been reduced to little more than a creek at this time of year without much rain.

It’s near where Queen Avenue crosses the river. Best way to get there is on foot. If you have to drive, you’ll have to park on the shoulder of Queen south of the bridge, or in the bike lane north of it. Then find your way underneath the bridge and to the beach below.

Another popular place is near the boat ramp at Bowman Park, as you can see below:

As low water, like now, there’s a big wide gravel beach downstream from the ramp. But for some reason people seem to like to hang near the ramp, probably because if you’re under a certain age it’s fun to jump off the floating dock.

Bowman is the easiest to get to because it’s a park and has a big parking lot.

Takena Landing is another possibility, on the other side of the Willamette. You can park there, then walk under the Lyon Street bridge and find your way on to the long gravel bar.

And of course there’s Byrant Park, where you can dip your toes into either the Calapooia or the Willamette, or both. But everybody knows about that. (hh)

2 responses to “Albany swimming holes? Not hard to find”

  1. Loretta Cherry says:

    Please be aware of where you park your cars when going to swim in the Calapooia near the bridge on Queen Ave. Please don’t block the large multiple neighborhood mailbox. We all went more than 2 days in a row that we didn’t get mail because someone was parked there. When the mailman is not able to drive his truck upto the boxes, he will not deliver our mail. We have also had people park in our private driveway. That is illegal, as well as parking in the bike lane. The police have swept the area several times and will give out parking tickets. There have also been illegal fireworks being set off down at the river. Please be aware of how dry all the brush is right now. We don’t want our homes going up in flames. My neighbors and I want everyone to have a good time swimming in the Calapooia, but please be respectful of your surroundings. There is legal parking at Hazelwood Park by the Bonneville headquarters building. Sorry, but the Bonneville property, close to the bridge, is also posted (private property), no parking. You can also park in a wide area across the second bridge going West at the crossroad of Oakville and Riverside Drive. It’s a little walk back to the river, but you won’t need to worry about getting a ticket. Thank you!

  2. Russ says:

    The Calapooia swimming spot is Doty’s Bar and years ago Mr. Doty charged 10 cents to swim there. He gave up after the sign kept disappearing.


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