Monday afternoon we moved from Sand Island at St. Helens Oregon over to the St. Helens Public Docks just across the channel. It was a quick hop and we were able to dock easily despite the high winds. The docks are very nice, well-maintained, with nice large cleats.
Before arriving, we really weren’t able to find much information about the rules and regulations of the St. Helens Public Docks. We found a Donations box on the dock and no posted fees for slips, so discerned that our stay there was free. There were posted signs stating that the maximum stay at the city dock was five days – and we think that meant including time spent at Sand Island Marine Park. It wasn’t very clear.
Amenities and Facilities at St. Helens Public Docks
Power was available on a graduated scale and could be purchased via kiosk and credit card directly on the dock. It seemed that the first 4 hours of power was free. Then, $10 for 24 hours, $20 for 48 hours. Longer was available but we only needed 48 hours so I didn’t pay attention to the longer stay prices (sorry!).
There was also water access directly at the slips and a dumpster for trash right at the top of the dock ramp. We didn’t find anywhere to discard our recycling though.
Also right at the top of the ramp, we immediately found a fabulous playground for the kids complete with water feature! This was a huge hit, as you can imagine.
Nearby the playground, there was a public restroom complete with coin-operated showers. After the kids played in the fountain for a while, we gathered our stuff and all took showers.
There’s also a free public holding tank pump out station at these docks.
Downtown St. Helens and Stuff To Do
We spent 2 days at the St. Helens Public Dock and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Having close proximity to such a nice play structure made it easy for me to take the kids off the boat whenever Brenden had to do a client meeting, and I was even able to work my job from the shade of a nice tree at one of the picnic tables. Both days we spent at least 2 hours letting the kids free play at the park while we worked.
That evening, after our showers, we struck out on foot to the nearby Running Dogs Brewery to indulge Brenden’s love of craft brews. They had a limited but excellent food menu and their pulled pork was especially delicious! We had it in a quesadilla, on loaded tater tots, and in sliders! Yumm!
The beer was good and they even had a house-brewed rootbeer! I’m a big rootbeer fan so I was happy to relax there in their laid back atmosphere and watch while Kali helped Brenden play a game of Battleship against Evan. For dessert, we had their rootbeet floats.
On Tuesday, we enjoyed a nice long walk along the riverfront, through a nature park and neighborhood, and then back to downtown St. Helens.
After emerging from the nature park, we walked through a neighborhood and back to downtown St. Helens. Then headed out to the marina itself to see if we could get ice cream at the marina store. Unfortunately, it had closed at 5pm (we arrived at about 5:45) but we walked back to Running Dogs Brewery for our second visit and were able to get vanilla ice cream there.
On Wednesday, we left the St. Helens Public Docks headed downriver to the guest dock at the Port of Kalama marina.
Hope you enjoyed this little review of the St. Helens Public Docks. If you have any questions, drop a comment! Looking for more of our PNW Cruiser’s Reviews? I’ll be writing them all summer! Check out our previous ones here. And, finally, curious where we are right now? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for current information!
Thanks for reading! Cheers! ~Rachel