Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sauvie Island: Collins Clothing-Optional Beach

Thanks to the continuing efforts of the Oregon Clothing Optional Beach Alliance we can enjoy two excellent clothing optional beaches that are unique in that they are officially sanctioned and recognized as clothing-optional by the State of Oregon. These two beaches are known as Rooster Rock State Park (east of Portland) and Collins beach on Sauvie Island (north of Portland).

For those of us visiting from the Seattle area, Rooster Rock is the better known and easier to get to . . . I-5 to I-205 and then east. However, Collins is by far the better beach. Collins Beach is also the home of the Yellow Flag program which I intend to highlight in another post as I've become very interested in it and would like it introduced to other clothing-optional locales.

To get to Collins Beach from Seattle, follow these MSN MapPoint directions.

Further information from the ORCOBA website, including the need for a parking permit:

By car, take Highway 30 north from Portland, or south from St. Helens. North of the town of Linnton, watch for a sign, "Sauvie Island Bridge" at a traffic-light-controlled intersection. Turn onto the bridge. Note: If you have not already purchased a daily or yearly parking permit, you will need to do so. They are available at the general store at the base of the bridge as you cross the river channel. A daily pass is $1.50; an annual permit is $11.00. Be sure to place this on your dash when you park at the beach.

You have two choices as to routes to Collins Beach: One is to take GIllihan road, which runs from the general store underneath the bridge, and follow it for several miles to the intersection with Reeder Road, turning right onto Reeder Road. Or, take Sauvie Island Road north from the store (turn left out of the store parking lot), and turn right onto Reeder Road a few miles up. Continue on Reeder Road after it intersects with Gillihan Road.

Whichever route you choose, follow Reeder Road, which will become a bit narrower and rougher as it crosses into Columbia County. Stay on Reeder Road, passing Reeder Beach, a small RV park and marina, and a few farms. Stay on Reeder until the road turns to gravel (the beach parking lot along the paved portion is a clothed beach, known as Walton Beach). One you reach the gravel portion, you will see a sign: Entering Clothing-Optional Area. Parking is along the left-hand side of the road; foot trails to the beach are on the right, marked 1 through 6.

So plan a visit now that Portland is baking in 80 to 90 degree temps, say 'hi' the the regulars (around the yellow flags) or join a lively game of volleyball. I can't wait to get back down there.

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