The sandy beach there has the vibe of a surf spot. It’s not uncommon to see an assortment of stand up boards lining the shore. The gentle slope makes it easy to carry boards to and from the water and provides plenty of room for several paddlers to launch at once. There aren't any rocks to navigate around or reeds to get tangled up in and it’s at a wide spot in the river so the current’s not too strong. The parking lot is nice and big and has a friendly atmosphere. In addition to the sandy beach, there’re also large grassy lawns to hang out on before and after paddling. Clean bathrooms are also located right there in the park.
Our favorite time to paddle is around 6.30 in the evening, when the heat's eased off a bit and most of the floaters have cleared out. It’s a very peaceful, rejuvenating way to end the day. Beavers and otters often pop up to say hi.
If you want a workout, warm up by going downstream first, then turn around near the Bend Outrigger Canoe Club (well before the spillway) and paddle upstream to Healy Bridge, then turn around and cool down by paddling (or floating) back to Riverbend. Another option is to just paddle up to Healy Bridge and back as many times as you wish.
We’re there almost every night and often bring extra boards for people to try. There’s no need to wait for a designated night to paddle, just show up at the spot and you’re very likely to meet fellow SUPers to paddle with.
See you at the “beach”!