I love getting out in our canoe. The world looks and sounds different when you’re out in the middle of a lake or gliding along a shore line. This summer, we have been fortunate to paddle in some amazing places. Sometimes, though, it is nice to stay closer to home: to get out, paddle, and get home in just a couple hours…. that is when Dorena Reservoir comes in handy.
I’ve seen people launch canoes at Harms Park, but I prefer paddling the upper end of Dorena Reservoir, in the channel along Bake Stewart Park. Since it is marked for speeds no greater than 5 mph, it should be free from wake and it is also protected from the wind.
With Bake Stewart Park now closed to vehicles the best place I know to put in a canoe or kayak into Dorena is along Shoreview Drive.
Here’s where we go: Head east on Row River Road, being sure to stay on Shoreview Drive when Row River Road turns off to the left. In about 1.5 miles after Baker Bay Park you’ll see a school bus warning sign, look to your left for a pull out along the reservoir. It is not marked, but there is parking there and a trail down to the water. You’ll need to carry your boat from the parking area down to the water.
Do you paddle around Cottage Grove? Where do you go?