Location: West bank under Marquam Bridge off the westside Esplanade Path. 

Access: Via esplanade, bike or walk to path under bridge leading down to beach. Limited street parking off SW River Parkway, but lots of garage parking close by. 

Lowdown: This little gem of a beach has smooth sand and easy entry into the water. You can swim right under the Marquam Bridge. It’s a nice place to relax and easy to reach. RiverPlace and South Waterfront neighborhoods are within walking distance of many shops, cafes and restaurants. Poet’s Beach got its name from the short children’s poems engraved into large rocks that lead to the beach entrance. You can also find some Chinook Wawa words, translated into English, that were contributed by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. As you approach the beach, slow down and get inspired by the engraved poems. Bring a pen and paper and write some poetry of your own! 

HAP’s role: Several years ago, HAP identified this site as a good place for humans to access the river, with a nice little beach. This is the put-in for The Big Float. With volunteers, HAP cut through riprack (an ongoing effort) to create a path to reach the sandy shore – then successfully advocated for the site to become Portland’s first ocial public beach. HAP pulled all permits and privately fundraised to have children’s poetry and Chinook wawa words engraved into stones lining the path.

Safety: Suitable for all ability levels. Very little current with depth at this location generally 5-8 ft. at most.  The river is very silty here so your feet may sink in the sandy bottom as you wade out.