Chehalem Park and Recreation District Serving Newberg & Dundee, Oregon since 1967

Chehalem Paddle Launch featured on Grant's Getaways on KGW

(Click to watch video)

Willamette River Kayak & Canoe Tour

Enjoy your time on one of America's great rivers, and then venture into the neighboring Pinot Noir country of Dundee & Newberg.

Oregon's Willamette River runs through the heart of wine country, rimmed with alder, cottonwood, dogwood, and a native under story filled with bird life. Your float begins in Dundee at Chehalem Paddle Launch, on a slow moving channel formerly used as a log-raft site near the middle of Ash Island. Here the Willamette River divides into the faster moving main channel and the slower moving shallow channel. Paddlers can examine the wing dam pilings left over from the logging days or explore the mouth of Chehalem Creek.

Those with some kayak or canoe experience can circumnavigate Ash Island in about an hour. Those who are new to the activity, families with children, and people who like to take an easy pace should plan on about 1½ hours. Expect to see calm water, varied plant life and dozens of bird species including Osprey, Red Tail Hawks, Bald Eagles and herons.

Route Map Aerial View

Enjoy your time on one of America's great rivers, and then venture into the neighboring Pinot Noir country of Dundee & Newberg.

The launch features

  • Kayaks (single person), canoes (1 - 3 persons, depending on size), paddle boards (single person).
  • Paddles
  • Instruction
  • Lifejackets, dry bags, and safety whistles
  • Chehalem Paddle Launch uses state of the art Current Design Recreational Kayaks and We-no-nah Royalex canoes

What to wear and bring

  • Light clothing with protection from the sun is perfect - shorts, t-shirt, & hat.  A towel and change of clothes can be handy.
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, hat, sunglasses, & binoculars
  • Kayakers should wear old tennis shoes or aqua socks.
  • Canoe paddlers might consider rubber boots or old tennis shoes. 


3100 SE 8th Street
Dundee, OR 97115

Click for map


From north on 99W (Portland, Beaverton, Newberg)
Drive south on OR-99W into Dundee.
Turn left at the stoplight onto SE 5th St. (0.2 miles)
Turn right onto SE Edwards Dr. (0.2 miles)
Take second left onto SE 8th Street and travel one mile to the end.

From Salem
Drive 20 miles on OR 221 N/Wallace Road NW
Left on OR-18 E/OR 233 N/SE Dayton Bypass (0.2 miles)
Merge onto OR 99W N about five miles
Right onto SE Parks DR. (0.5 miles)
Left onto SE Edwards (0.2 miles)
Right onto SE 8th St.


Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
General season is mid-June through Labor Day weekend, weather permitting.
The launch is closed for the season. See you in June!
To make sure the launch is open, call (503) 537-2909. 


Payments by credit card only.
Walk-ins welcome.
Reserve by phone (503) 537-2909.

$22.00 for 2 Hours of kayak or paddle board
$30.00 for 2 Hours of canoe or tandem kayak

Safety & Conditions


How Chehalem Paddle Launch Came to Be

From its very conception in the fall of 2010, the Chehalem Paddle Launch attracted volunteers, collaborators and supporters from every corner of Newberg and Dundee.

CPL was launched as a project of the Ford Family Foundation Leadership Institute, the second such program in Newberg. Over 30 people – including high school, faith-based, elected, business, service, and philanthropic leaders – came together in the spirit of volunteerism and community development. Without this initial coaching and financial support from The Ford Family Foundation, there would be no rental facility and park on the banks of the Willamette River today.

Chehalem Park and Recreation District superintendent, Don Clements and the CPRD Board of Directors recognized the significant early and enthusiastic support from the ambitious core group of volunteers. The ripples continued with support from the superintendent of the Newberg School District, Paula Radich and school district staff. The wave swelled to include leaders and organizations throughout the county. Newberg mayor Bob Andrews and Dundee mayor Ted Crawford, along with both councils, quickly added support including planning assistance for the re-zoning necessary for the location on 8th Street in Dundee. Early funding also came from Newberg City Council, the Dundee Tourism Fund and Dundee Parks Committee approved by the Dundee City Council.

Representatives from George Fox University, Portland Community College, Chehalem Cultural Center, Newberg Providence Medical Center, The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and other community organizations were also supportive of the project and recognized the benefits to our citizens. The Newberg Area Habitat for Humanity donated an unused semi-trailer that eventually housed the rental facility operations. Local businesses provided materials, engineering work, and other support while the Newberg Early Morning Rotary was an important grantor of funds to CPL.

A key point in the evolution of the Chehalem Paddle Launch operation came when Tom and Kay Edwards of Dundee graciously agreed to site the park on their land on the banks of the Willamette River. A land-use agreement was drawn up and approved unanimously by the Dundee Planning Commission providing for the spectacular location of the CPL Park across from Ash Island, in a gentle channel of the Willamette. Like so many others along the way, Tom and Kay Edwards' vision and generosity added momentum to the project.

A significant grant from the Yamhill County Economic Development fund assured the eventual opening of the Chehalem Paddle Launch facility. With high-quality Canoes and Kayaks in hand, a record-breaking wet spring allowed time to finalize the work on the mobile rental facility trailer. Site preparation included many volunteers and the valued assistance of the Yamhill County Sheriff's Work Crew. Incredible progress on the site was achieved through roadwork and the parking area by Terry Paskett of TDP Landscaping.

In June of 2011, less than nine months after an idea bubbled through the varied-ranks of a volunteer community-development group called The Ford Family Foundation, Chehalem Paddle Launch opened and people of all ages ventured out on our Willamette River for recreation, relaxation, and exploration.

Contact Us

Info (503) 537-2909

Jim McMaster, Parks and Facilities Supervisor

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