The Willamette River is such a rewarding place to paddle. After the swiftwater passes through the Eugene / Springfield area it becomes more open and forgiving. Heading North of the urban area the river enters the historic floodplain. Over time the main channel has had a tendency to change course in different spots. So each Spring we never know what to expect downriver. While the current mellows out on this section of the river there are still some challenges to consider. Most notably are the strainers (trees in the channel). There are also a few eddylines that can capsize small boats if the paddler isn’t ready for them.
With so many river miles on the Willamette Water Trail, it’s hard to select where to go! McKenzie River Trust. map below shows how the historic McKenzie River channel has shifted around over time.