What’s to Love: For Willamette River access, Hebb Park cannot compare to the beauty and cleanliness of Willamette Park, or George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego. However, Hebb Park will certainly provide a more relaxed atmosphere with manageable crowds. Plus, if you’re looking for a casual fishing experience off a dock or the shore, this is a pretty good choice.
Hebb Park feels very remote, but it’s very close to some high-end homes and developments. The drive to Hebb Park from Portland is pleasant and passes one of the largest Christmas tree farms I’ve ever seen. There is a short( roughly 1/4 mile), self-guided, loop hike where you might hear some woodpeckers, if you listen closely. The path is flat and paved, so it’s a good choice for an accessible hike, or a short bike ride for a beginning rider.
Otherwise, you’ll want to stick to fishing and/or river access at Hebb. The website notes that salmon, sturgeon, and shad are all possibilities. Since this part of the river is a “low/no wake” area, the water is pretty calm. Therefore, canoing and/or kayaking is a decent choice in this section of the Willamette. Check the website below for more information.
Caveats: We found the park to be a bit rundown and trashy in some areas. On the way to the dock, there were about 20 beer cans strewn all over the place. The bulletin boards appeared to have old information, and the grounds were mostly overgrown. There were also some camping style chairs just hanging around a fire pit with some random trash. We got the feeling that locals probably use this site as a place to go and drink. When we were there, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. If you’re bring kids, I would recommend a morning or afternoon.
Website: Sorry, can’t find anything worth posting.
Distance from Portland: Hebb Park is approximately 20 miles from downtown Portland. Here is a link to the Google Map.
Recommended Ages: Fishing from the shore or dock would work well for smaller children – make sure you keep a close eye on them! Also, you may want to bring some life jackets to make sure everyone is safe. Boating and/or fishing from a boat is great with older kids.
Parental Stress Factor: On a busy day, I can imagine this area gets pretty crowded, especially on the shore and dock. Combine that mix with alcohol, and the parental stress factor might go through the roof! Anytime my child is near open water, I’m pretty stressed, especially because he can’t swim yet.
Physical Difficulty: Accessible paved path – the terrain around the park is flat.
Family Fun Factor: This is certainly not a destination park (like Sellwood park). Don’t count on a play structure, manicured grounds, a baseball diamond, etc. If you like boating and fishing, this is a convenient spot.
Pet Friendly: Because things seem to be a bit loose here, this may be a good choice to play a little fetch with Fido. For fishing, I would leave your dog at home.
Weather Considerations: Year round, but spring is salmon time. If you’re Letterbox hunting, I would wait for dryer conditions.
Insider Info: Hebb Park is home to a pretty cool Letterbox! It’s definitely worth trying to find it – make sure you have a compass and know how to take a bearing.
There are no safety barriers on the shore or the dock. So, if you plan on spending some time fishing, you may want to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of your kids.
Family Tips: The paved hiking trail doesn’t warrant a jogging stroller or backpack – it’s too short. However, this might be a nice stroll for an early-walker. Go with an Ergo-carrier, a sling, or a Baby Bjorn. Save the picnic for a nicer park – bring some snacks, if you plan on doing some fishing. You’re definitely a good distance from some decent food.
Other Posts of Interest...
Family Getaway - Garibaldi, Oregon on April 9th, 2012
Washougal River Access on August 1st, 2012
Henry Hagg Lake on August 2nd, 2010