Conflicting uses and overcrowding prompt restrictions
Last updated Friday, July 31, 2020
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.
- 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 received a notable number of calls, emails, and messages from residents and businesses alike after the weekend of July 18-19 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please recreate close to home, avoid traveling far from home, and if you don’t live in Hood River, please do not recreate here.
CROWDED PARKS LEAD TO CLOSED PARKS
Beginning Friday, July 17, the following operational changes will be in effect Monday – Friday at the Event Site and Lot 1. (See above for Saturday-Sunday operations and rules).
- Lot 1 will be closed to all vehicle parking.
- The Event Site parking lot will close when the Port determines the area’s “COVID capacity” has been reached. This will be determined not just by available parking spaces, but also crowding and the total number of people at the site. When the lot is closed it will remain closed until Port staff determines there is available capacity. This review will occur hourly.
- The parking spots along the south curb of the Event Site parking lot will be coned off and not available for parking.
- Kite launching – No launching or landing of kites allowed from the Event Site grass or beach. Launch and land from the Sandbar only.
- The restrooms are closed. There will be porta-potties located near the restrooms. Garbage service is limited – there will be a small dumpster placed near the restrooms. Please come prepared to pack out your garbage.
- Nichols Basin Dock – CLOSED.
- Waterfront Trail – open.
- Waterfront Park (City Park) – Open for river access, however, the playground remains closed until further notice.
- The Hook – open for river access. No Kiting.
- Spit Parking Lot – open. Access to Sandbar is okay.
- Marina Beach and Marina Jetty – Beginning Saturday, July 25 the Marina Beach will be closed to all kiteboarding activities. This includes rigging, launching, pump and dry.
- Marina Park Picnic Shelter – closed. The Marina Park and Marina Green are open for use.
- Marina Boat Ramp – open.
- Marina – open for moorage tenants.
- Cruise Ships – all visits through June have been suspended.
- All public restrooms closed due to Covid-19 concerns. There are limited porta-potties located on the waterfront.
- Garbage service limited or suspended. It is important that you recreate close to home and come prepared to pack out your garbage – including dog waste.
- PARKING – No parking allowed after 11:00 p.m. on any Port of Hood River operated area, except for West Portway commercial truck/trailer parking by permit. Parking lots close at 9:00 p.m. – Gates to the Hook, the Event Site parking lot, the Marina Beach/Moorage lot, and the Spit will be closed at 9:00 p.m.
- DOGS – All dogs MUST BE ON LEASH at all Port-owned and operated facilities listed above.
As always, there is no overnight parking or camping allowed anywhere on the Hood River waterfront. No fireworks of any kind are allowed anytime on any Port-controlled property.
For more information, please contact the Port of Hood River via email to email@example.com.