As we cruise into the winter months and we’re all spending more time indoors, it can be difficult to remember that the Tri-Cities is home to a wide variety of outdoor activities that draw a lot of attention when the weather allows. Come springtime next year, the community will be flocking back to the parks and playgrounds scattered throughout the area. Recently, we’ve covered some of the Tri-Cities’ attractive outdoor entertainment options like public parks, playgrounds, and skate parks. However, if you want to experience the Columbia River to its fullest come the warmer weather, what better way than with a boat? This week, we’ll be taking a look at the many access points to the life blood of our community and how to best take advantage of them.

Snyder Boat Launch

At the northernmost point of Leslie Groves Park in Richland just off Snyder Street. During the late spring and summer months this boat launch sees a lot of traffic, but it is generally less busy than other access points on this list. With easy access for north Richland residents, it’s become a staple of the neighborhood throughout the years.

Howard Amon Boat Launch

In the middle of Richland’s largest park, this boat launch is typically highly trafficked. Just north of Newton Street on Amon Park Drive, the boat launch boasts an impressively sized parking lot to accommodate the maximum possible number of users.

Columbia Point Marina Park

At the southeastern point of Richland sits the Columbia Point Marina Park. Home to high end restaurants, playgrounds, and sports fields, this park sees a lot of use in the summer months. The boat launch is expertly designed and leads through Richland’s marina, making this a key access point to the Columbia River.

Columbia Park Trail (East and West)

There are several boat launches along the Columbia Park Trail that spans both Richland and Kennewick. The furthest west is located near the Richland wye, and the furthest east sits at the base of Highway 395, the Pioneer Memorial Bridge (known colloquially as the ‘Blue Bridge’).

Clover Island Boat Launch

Kennewick’s Clover Island is, perhaps unsurprisingly, home to a large marina and boat launch facility. Functioning as the Port of Kennewick, the island sees heavy traffic to and from the river. With well-groomed walking paths and restaurants and breweries calling the port their home, it’s easy to see why Clover Island is a popular gateway to the Columbia.

Chiawana Park

One of the key boat launches on the Pasco side of the Columbia River, the marina at Chiawana Park sees moderate to heavy use throughout the warmer seasons.

Boating has long been a pastime of the Tri-Cities. With the mighty Columbia River rolling directly through the center of our community, it’s no surprise that we’ve become so integrated with its ebbs and flows throughout the years. One of our primary annual entertainment events, the Water Follies, takes place on the Columbia and draws spectators from throughout the nation. For more information on the Water Follies, check out our previous article Summer in the Tri-Cities.

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