Conflicting uses and overcrowding prompt restrictions
HOOD RIVER, OR – Crowded beaches and conflicting uses of limited space have raised safety concerns for recreational sites on the Hood River waterfront. The Port of Hood River owns and operates most of the recreational facilities and announced new use restrictions and closures on July 25. Originally, the restrictions affecting parking at the Event Site and nearby N. 1st Street applied to Saturdays and Sundays only, but due to continued excessive crowding, the Port will now implement those restrictions on Fridays as well.
The Port will continue to monitor crowding and other safety conditions and may take further measures to close or restrict access to recreational sites if necessary.
- EVENT SITE – (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only) The Event Site parking lot will be open to annual pass holders only. No day use passes will be sold. The parking lot will close to all users if overcrowding on the beach occurs. The south curb of the Event Site lot will remain closed to parking. Event Site users are urged to comply with the state mandate requiring masks when 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained. Picnicking and group gatherings at the Event Site are discouraged, as this is a very active site used primarily for windsurfing and kiteboarding.
- SANDBAR – The Sandbar is an area of intense kiteboarding use and can be dangerous for spectators unaware of the sport’s space requirements. This area is accessed via the Spit parking lot and is not recommended for picnickers.
- LOT 1 – Closed to all vehicle parking.
- N. 1ST STREET PARKING LIMITED – (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only) There will be no parking allowed along the entire east side curb of N. 1st Street. This closure is to discourage crowding at Nichols Basin and Frog Beach.
- NICHOLS BASIN DOCK – Closed to the public due to overcrowding.
- FROG BEACH – Frog Beach will remain open, but users are urged to spread out or use the Marina Beach instead when the small beach area becomes too crowded. This beach has been very crowded with children and groups the past couple of weekends, raising alarm in the local community. Beach users are reminded to wear masks when 6 feet of social distance with people not from your own household cannot be maintained.
- MARINA BEACH – The Marina Beach will be closed to all kiteboarding activities, all days. This includes rigging, launching, and pump and dry on any dry sand or lawn area. Picnickers and family groups using the Marina Beach are urged to spread out and comply with the state mandate requiring masks when 6 feet of social distance with people not from your own household cannot be maintained. The front row of parking spots at the Marina Beach will be closed until further notice to limit crowding and for installation of new handicap-only parking spots.
- WATERFRONT PARK BEACH (City-owned facility) – The Waterfront Park beach is open, but users are reminded to spread out and wear masks when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.
- WATERFRONT PARK PLAYGROUND (City-owned facility) – The playground area is closed until further notice.
The Port continues to receive calls, emails, and messages from residents and businesses alike urging closure of the recreational sites in response to overcrowding and non-compliance with mask mandates.
The Port encourages weekend visitors to stay closer to home and urges all users of Port recreational facilities to comply with all COVID-related safety mandates as well as use and parking restrictions, or further use limitations or closures may be imposed.
City and Port officials also urge visitors to all waterfront areas to come prepared to pack out their garbage and remind dog owners to keep dogs on leash and ensure proper disposal of dog waste.
For more information, contact the Port of Hood River via email to email@example.com.