Ridgefield Kayak Launch & Lake River

Ridgefield, Washington

Ridgefield Kayak Launch & Lake River

Ridgefield Washington’s Kayak/Paddle specific launch is a great resource to access both The Columbia River via Lake River or paddle upriver into and thru the Wildlife Refuge. If you’re an avid bird watcher, it’s hard to beat Lake River! We’ve seen several varieties of Sparrow, Cranes, Herons, Osprey, Hawk, and even Bald Eagles, plus 100’s of others. We’ve also come across many other wildlife while paddling Lake River, including several Turtles sunbathing on the rocks. Salmon swimming under your board during the seasonal runs is amazing!

Lake River is tidal, meaning the tides from the Ocean do affect the current. It is always recommended to check the tide tables (use Ridgefield Wa charts) and wind conditions before hitting the Ridgefield launch. Don’t underestimate tidal current combined with high winds! We’ve left the launch and headed upriver into the Wildlife Refuge on a pleasant day only to find ourselves fighting for hours to get back to our vehicle. If you’d rather head downriver towards The Columbia, please be aware of the boat traffic. Although there is a speed limit for boats on Lake River, not many abide and the boat wakes in such a narrow waterway can be nasty. About a mile downriver of the launch, there is a left turn into a Slough that will short-cut you to The Columbia River. The Slough can be a very tough but rewarding paddle. Lots of current the closer you get to The Columbia especially in an outgoing tide, but the end result is a nice pebble & sand beach on the shared bank of The Columbia River and the Slough with great views of Oregon across the River.

Ridgefield Kayak Launch Website

SUP Site Rating

  • Parking (Availability & Distance From Launch) 80% 80%
  • Launch Conditions 75% 75%
  • Difficulty Level 70% 70%

Note: Tidal currents can make this a tough paddle! Check the tide book to plan your trip.