On the Water AdventuresWhether you prefer dipping your toes in the surf, paddling a quiet stream, or riding a wave onto the beach, there’s a water sport waiting for you in Astoria and Warrenton.
Take a leisurely trip around Coffenbury Lake, up the John Day or Lewis and Clark River, or get out onto the Columbia or the Pacific if you’re craving a heart-pumping adventure. Columbia River Kayaking, rents kayaks and offers lessons and guided excursions, from beginner half-day tours to coastal journeys. Experienced kayakers can even take part in a 5-day adventure to some of the most exciting locations along the Lower Columbia and coastal capes.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Stand-up paddle boarding has quickly joined the ranks of Oregon’s most popular water sports. It’s customizable for people of all skill and desired adrenaline levels, and can be enjoyed by less experienced riders on lakes and calm rivers, or by more skilled paddle boarders through river estuaries or even on coastal waters. Clatsop Paddle Company provides board (and kayak) sales, rentals, lessons and guided tours throughout Oregon’s North Coast. Paddle alongside fishing boats and float houses, or through idyllic wildlife refuges, and likely see wildlife like bald eagles, egrets and harbor seals in their natural habitats.
Swimming and Scuba Diving
Swimming is permitted on Warrenton beaches, but cold waters, strong rip currents, sneaker waves and regularly rough conditions mean that unsupervised ocean swimming is generally not recommended. Most beach “swimmers” prefer to wade or wave-jump out to calf-deep water for a quick cool-down, rather than swimming. However, there are plenty of calm places to swim locally. Freshwater Coffenbury Lake, within Fort Stevens State Park, and Cullaby Lake to the south of Warrenton, are both family favorites for staying cool during the warmer months. There are also swimming pools available for public use at the Astoria Aquatic Center and for guests at the Astoria/Warrenton/Seaside KOA. Astoria Scuba and Adventure Sports provides training for snorkeling and scuba diving at all ages and experience levels. Most training begins in a pool, but will include multiple supervised open water dives before certification is complete.
Oregon’s North Coast Surfing
As with swimming on the Oregon North Coast, surfing should be attempted by skilled surfers only due to cold water, rough surf and strong rip currents. Even in summer, a wetsuit is a must. Outside of Warrenton, surfers can find additional breaks on the Oregon Coast at Seaside Cove, Indian Beach, Short Sands, Oceanside and Pacific City. Surf equipment and gear can be found at Coldwater Surf and Skate Shop in downtown Astoria.
Get Your Feet Wet!
No matter what form your adventure takes, practice common sense water safety during all water activities. If you are taking a lesson or guided tour, your instructor/guide will ensure all safety precautions are met, but it’s still a good idea to be aware of the tide schedule and any potential hazards or weather conditions. Make sure someone on shore knows where you are and when they should expect you back. Always wear your personal flotation device as directed for water sports that require it (paddle boarding, kayaking and boating). The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership has more information on the Lower Columbia Water Trail, including launch and landing sites, safety tips and more.
If you prefer to stay dry, you can find even more outdoor recreation activities, including charter fishing or eco-boat tours, here. Of course, a good day on the water deserves a celebration back on land. Check out all the great places to grab a burger and a pint wherever your Astoria and Warrenton adventure take you.