My husband brought me to the Molalla River on one of our first dates waaay back in 2007. He brought some super-gross red wine from a grocery outlet that was also really hot and impossible to drink. For some reason, it took us eight years to make our way back to the Molalla, now with our two children in tow.
River levels are very low across the state this year, and the Molalla river was much lower, and therefore warmer, than it has been in the past. It’s still kind of a party spot; cigarette butts and beer cans and fishing line and trash. Despite all that, it’s a beautiful place and there are plenty of riverside spots to choose from, so it’s possible to put some distance between you and the riff-raff.
My son had a great time swimming here. He’s only three and a half, so he still uses a life vest or water wings, and still needs a grown up in the water with him, but the current isn’t too fast for beginning swimmers, and more than deep enough.