Water Recreation

If you like spending your vacation on the water, Albany is a great location for planning a trip. Whether you enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, or paddle sports, you can find the perfect spot in the mid-Willamette Valley. The town of Albany is nestled where the Calapooia and Willamette Rivers meet, and is surrounded by small ponds, large reservoirs, and multiple rivers and streams.

Safety should be your number one priority while you are in or on the water. Life jackets are available for free for kids from the City of Albany. Find out where you can pick one up on their website. Find out all the lifejacket laws and guidelines at Oregon.gov. Life jackets save lives!

The Willamette River is one of the few rivers in the U.S. that flow north, and forms the western boundary of Linn County. While it is used for river travel at its northern end, the river is used in the Willamette Valley primarily for recreation. Boating and water skiing are popular along this river. Lodging and RV camping are also available in Albany. Plan your trip along the Willamette River Water Trail.

Foster Lake and Green Peter Reservoir
Located just east of Sweet Home, they offer a full range of water sports. Boating, swimming, sailing, and fishing are all available. There are also camping, RV, and picnicking sites available here. County parks include:

Sunnyside Park
Located three miles east of Sweet Home, this park offers a boat ramp, moorage, swimming, water skiing, fishing, picnic areas, volleyball courts, and access to Foster Lake. The park has 162 tent/trailer sites, 104 with water and electric hook-up, restrooms, showers and a group camping site. Open April 1 to November 1.

Whitcomb Creek Park
Located on Green Peter Reservoir, 12 miles east of Sweet Home. This park offers camping in a woodsy atmosphere, tent/trailer sites (39) with no hook-ups, swimming, hiking, boater’s access to Green Peter Reservoir, and picnicking. Open April 21 to October 1.


For a brief float or paddle trip, put in at Hyak Park 2.5 miles east of Albany on Highway 20, and let the current carry you to Bryant ParkTakena Landing, or Bowman Park in Albany. For longer trips, explore the itineraries on the Willamette Water Trail . Or join Paddle Oregon for a epic multi-day journey all the way from the Eugene area to just south of Portland.

The North Santiam River
The Santiam River is another popular river for rafting. From its headwaters in the Cascades, it splits into the North, Middle and South forks, all of which eventually empty into the Willamette. Open for rafting, it is a class 3 river, and a good trip for beginners. Spencer’s hole is the big water on this trip. Take outs are at Mehema or Mill City in the northern end of the Willamette Valley. Check out North Santiam River Trips for guided whitewater rafting trips: North Santiam River Rafting

Thomas Creek, Crabtree Creek, and the South Santiam River
Good for kayaking or rafting during the spring run-off, and are all in the nearby Albany vicinity.

No boat? Rent a canoe, kayak, raft or other gear from Peak Sports in Corvallis.