Bring your binoculars, boots or small boat to Beaver Creek. This new park offers paddling, bird watching, walks in the marshland and hiking in upland meadows. Put in your kayak or canoe at the Ona Beach launch. The two-mile paddle meanders up the Beaver Creek valley with views of the surrounding Sitka spruce and alder forested hills. Look for beaver, river otter, muskrat and nutria. If youre lucky, you may see a Roosevelt elk or black-tailed deer. Follow the trail from the Visitor Center parking area (opening Oct. 1, 2010) across the marsh. Several miles of trails take off from the small bridge that crosses Beaver Creek.

We completed this kayak adventure several times while living in the Portland / McMinnville area of OR because it was one of our favorite paddles. The river starts at the ocean where you can play in the bay before venturing up river (mindful of the tides). There is a wetland area where a sojourn through grasses and cattails is great fun but careful on watching the route in as it is easy to lose your sense of direction back to the main river. The river has lots of wildlife including otters, bald eagles and osprey. There are wide areas of the river that can get quite rough with the combination of the tide and wind but this just adds to the fun. As you continue the river narrows but stays deep with steep banks so there is no problem of bottoming out. One spot requires a “limbo” under a pole used as a walkway over the river. Travelling through farmer’s field you encounter cows watering on the bank. Just keep “moooving” as not to disturb their relaxation. Overall, this is a fantastic kayak trip for a full day of paddling. Enjoy!