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Summer means Discovery Day on the Tualatin River

Annual Tualatin Riverkeepers event is June 25, but registration is available now.

FILE - Molly and Paul Whitney kayak along the Tualatin River during Discovery Day in 2014.The dog days of summer are approaching fast, and so is Discovery Day, which Tualatin Riverkeepers describes as “one of the biggest outdoor parties in the Portland Metropolitan area.”

Mike Skuja, Riverkeepers' executive director, said Discovery Day is his nonprofit organization's largest community event of the year. An annual tradition in Tualatin, the day brings hundreds out to paddle the Tualatin River every year when the weather is good.

All day on June 25, Riverkeepers will provide boats for paddlers to rent. There will be activities such as face-painting and henna, as well as a barbecue lunch.

The route is 2.6 miles along the river, starting at the Highway 99W boat ramp in west Tualatin and finishing at Tualatin Community Park. A guidebook with information about the wildlife and history of the stretch of river will be available, but the paddle itself is self-guided.

All experience levels can participate in Discovery Day, including first-time paddlers and families with children, according to Riverkeepers. Its website calls the Tualatin River “perhaps the most family-friendly river in the state.”

Canoe and kayak rentals are $30. Paddlers can also bring their own craft for no cost. A shuttle back to the launch ramp will be provided.

The boat ramp is always busy on Discovery Day. According to the Riverkeepers website, the event sells out every year, so people are encouraged to reserve their launch time early. Times are available between 9 a.m. and noon.

For more information or to register, visit the event website.

FILE - Paddlers reach Tualatin Community Park after heading down the river on Discovery Day in 2012.

By Mark Miller
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