Boating opportunities within a day's drive of Eugene

      EUGENE, Ore. You don't have to travel far to enjoy some of Oregon's rivers. There are plenty of on-the-water activities you can dive into without getting wet.

      Every weekend, as the ducks are cooling off in the pond at Alton Baker Park, you can typically find a few paddlers joining them on the water.

      "It's a perfect spot for beginners, as you can see, it's really shallow and pretty sheltered from the wind," said Ryan Allen with Northwest Canoe Tour.

      Allen rents out the canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards by the hour. The canoe canal itself runs two miles upstream, giving families a pretty good view of the scenery and the wildlife.

      "There's typically osprey and heron and nutria. I see a lot of people in the park that're birders or just photographers," Allen said. "It's a great setting."

      Or if you're looking for something in a boat that you can't tip over, you can head to Harrisburg for a jet boat tour on the Willamette.

      "I love being on the river and love telling people about the history of the valley here," said Mike Hurd said with Scenic Jet Boat Tours.

      The tours are offered year-round and run as far north as Corvallis, highlighting the scenic places along the river that you can't see from the road.

      "If it's a cool day, we'll take it easy, but if it's hot, we'll get them wet," Hurd said.

      But whether you like it fast or slow, wet or dry, these are two places where you can relax on the water. And you can find them all in a day's drive. The canoes are available to rent on Friday, Saturday and Sundays in Alton Baker Park. It costs about $10 per hour to rent one of the canoes.