Clackamette Boat Ramp
Clackamette Boat Ramp - Closed
Clackamette Park Boat Ramp Closes Due to Safety Concerns
The City of Oregon City advises residents and boaters that the Clackamette Park Boat Ramp is closed to motorized vehicles and boat trailers due to safety concerns. A temporary closure has been in effect since October 2021 and this closure is permanent until potential realignment and possible relocation can be identified through a public process. The boat ramp is open to foot and carry-down traffic such as kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, or other paddle craft unless further erosion causes unsafe conditions for these uses.
"Public safety is the main factor in this decision," said Kendall Reid, Oregon City Parks, and Recreation Director, "It is unsafe for vehicle use due to the river's current eroding material underneath the concrete slabs of the ramp's foundation."
An underwater inspection in October 2021 showed a structural material deficit resulting in the closure of trailered motorboats and vehicular traffic to reduce the potential for property damage and injury to the public.
Visitors to the area are encouraged to use other nearby boat ramps to access the Lower Willamette River, including Sportcraft Landing, Meldrum Bar, Cedaroak, Jefferson Street (Milwaukie), or Willamette Park. Additional locations upstream of Willamette Falls in the Newberg Pool include Bernert Landing, Hebb Park, and Boones Ferry boat ramps.
In the meantime, a Master Plan of Clackamette Park will begin in 2022 which will provide the public and community partners the opportunity to guide Clackamette Park's functionality, sustainability, and improvements as well as identify plans for the boat ramps potential realignment and possible relocation.
Clackamette Park lies at the confluence of the Willamette and Clackamas Rivers and is located approximately 400 feet downstream of the John McLoughlin Bridge in Oregon City, Oregon.
For questions or more information please contact the Oregon City Parks and Recreation Department at email Parks and Recreation or 503-496-1201.
Short-term repairs have been made to open the boat ramp while long-term relocation including design, engineering, and funding steps are taken.
Clackamette Park Boat Ramp Relocation
The City of Oregon City, in partnership with the Oregon State Marine Board and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, is pursuing a long-term solution for the boat ramp at Clackamette Park.
In December 2013, the boat ramp at Clackamette Park was severely damaged resulting in the closure of the boat ramp for boaters' safety. Recently, a short-term repair was made to the boat ramp to allow boating access while the City finalizes the design and engineering pursues a variety of permit approvals, and secures funding to relocate the boat ramp.
For questions please email Denise Conrad, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director, City of Oregon City, or call 503-496-1565. You can also email Janine Belleque, Boating Facilities Manager, Oregon State Marine Board at 503-378-2628.
Clackamette Park Boat Ramp Update
The boat ramp has been closed for about 2 years due to damage to the ramp panels and undermined structure below the ramp's metal rails. Just after the damage occurred in December 2013, we were able to shore up, salvage, and stabilize the ramp panels and prevent more undermining. This year, we were given the opportunity to do a hydrology study with grant funding from Oregon State Marine Board. West Consultants, Inc. was selected through a process and hired to evaluate our options to reopen the boating access. A short-term repair option has been proposed to re-open the ramp as soon as possible. Additionally, conceptual options for a long-term replacement solution have been recommended. These options, further analysis, final recommendations, permitting requirement needs, and funding options are currently being evaluated. Future updates on this project will be posted on our website as we continue to work toward reopening this facility.
The boat launch ramp at Clackamette Park remains closed for safety reasons. As the Clackamas River current has changed over the years, high flows directed at the boat ramp have led to at least three separate significant incidents where large concrete panels were displaced or steel piling and docks were damaged. The latest event that led to the current closure resulted in the undermining of the material beneath the lower portion of the ramp as well as a deep hole immediately downstream of the ramp. The City, with funding assistance from the Oregon State Marine Board, was able to have a contractor make emergency repairs, placing the panels back to avoid loss of the panels or further damage. While the ramp may appear usable, it is unstable and not safe to use for boat launch purposes. It was a joint decision of the City and our partner agency, Oregon State Marine Board, that the ramp remains closed to boat launching until a solution can be determined and funded. Repairs to the ramp are likely to be expensive, and environmental permits will have to be secured for any work performed on the ramp. Since the river has changed course so dramatically over time, the City and Marine Board are not confident in proceeding with repairs only to have a future high-water event damage the ramp again. We are uncertain if the river has reached some level of stability or if it will continue to change.
To have a better idea of which course of action to take, the City and Marine Board have agreed to proceed with obtaining a professional hydrological analysis of the river in the vicinity of the park. This analysis is being co-funded by a grant from the Marine Board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is anticipated that the results of this analysis will help all parties decide on the most appropriate course of action. The City and Marine Board feel this is the most responsible approach to take before we invest what is potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of state boater funds in repairs or a new ramp in an alternate location. We are committed to finding the best path forward to provide boater access at Clackamette Park.
The analysis is expected to be completed this year. Since the solution (including potential costs) for the repair or replacement of the ramp will not be known until the analysis is complete, it is not possible to estimate a timeline for a replacement or re-opening. The City and the Marine Board recognize the disappointment and inconvenience boaters and anglers are experiencing due to the reduced access to the lower Clackamas and Willamette caused by this closure. Fortunately, the nearby ramp at Sportcraft Landing was replaced in recent years and offers safe boating access to the Willamette.
For your reference, the following are a few other boat launches in the area:
- Meldrum Bar Park Boat Ramp in Gladstone: Off of River Road and Meldrum Bar Park Road
- Cedaroak Boat Ramp in West Linn: 4600 Elmran Drive
- Sportcraft Landing in Oregon City: 1701 Clackamette Drive
- Riverfront Park in Milwaukie: McLoughlin and Jefferson
- Bernert Boat Ramp in West Linn: 12th and Volpp