On the Water

Sure, you can enjoy the beauty of the river from your room, or while enjoying a meal on our patio, but the river calls to be explored!

Take advantage of Oregon’s beautiful summer months by adventuring on the Willamette River. Rent a kayak or canoe and cruise down the river from one of the multiple drop-offs that are walking distance from The Independence Hotel. Want something more structured? Embark on the Willamette River Water Trail using one of their guides to spot local flora and fauna, track river features or learn the history of the area. For those with kids, or those recovering from a previous day of wine tasting, take it chill and rent a tube to float the Willamette instead, enjoying the slow and steady pace of the lazy river’s natural current.

Kayak and Paddleboard Rentals

Independence Kayak Rentals

A family owned and operated business centered on the Willamette River, this crew wants to share their love of kayaking with others! They offer excellent kayaks and equipment that are good for beginners and more advanced kayakers. Enjoy all-day or half-day rentals, or take advantage of their Kayak transport option: they drop off the kayaks at Buena Vista Park and pick them up at Independence River front (right by the hotel). This is a 10 Mile trip that takes 2-6 hours to navigate (depending on how fast you paddle).

Salem Kayak Rentals

offers a wide variety of options, including various size kayaks, kids kayaks and paddle boards. They also offer excursions and multi-day tours. The owner, Shannon Valdez’s connection to the Willamette is deep. She grew up living on the River in “the boat barn” on top of a bait shop. Her Dad was a boat maker and river tour guide, and she grew up navigating the river, so she knows it very well. She books up quickly, so be sure to secure a reservation for you and your crew.

Willamette River Water Trail

One of only 20 National Water Trails in the U.S., The Willamette River Water Trail is an established route for paddlers along 187 miles of the Willamette River. The trail has two key guides/maps with access points, campsites, river features, and a bit of history and information on what can be found as you travel the river.

A popular route starts by putting in at Buena Vista Park (10 river miles), or earlier at Bryant Park (24 river miles) and ending right at Riverview Park, next to the hotel.  If starting at Bryant Park, you will experience the confluence of the Luckiamute and Santiam Rivers near Luckiamute State Natural Area. End the day with dinner and a local wine or brew on our patio, followed by a soak in our hot tub.

A Clean, Healthy River

Willamette Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the Willamette River.  They believe the Willamette River belongs to all of us, and should be cared for as such. We love and appreciate the great work they do to maintain the health of our river. Check out their website, learn about their influential projects and about upcoming events you can participate in to help keep our river healthy.

Go by Ferry……..

Cross the river “old-school” on one of three ferries on the Willamette River: The Canby, Buena Vista and the Wheatland. While most of Oregon’s ferries have been replaced by bridges, these three remain vestiges of bygone eras. Each are unique and offer three distinct experiences for an intriguing and scenic crossing. The Buena Vista Ferry, closest to the hotel, is both highly scenic and wonderfully quaint. Not to be missed, it is one of Oregon’s oldest continuously operated ferries and is free to pedestrians, $1 for a bicycle and $3 for vehicles. Popular cycling trails include the Buena Vista Ferry and a popular kayaking trail kicks off at Buena Vista and concludes at The Independence Hotel.