Cedar River is a short river on the north shore of Willapa Bay. I found it by following the shoreline of the bay on the computer’s satellite view and looking for rivers I hadn’t paddled yet. Washington Water Trails on their Willapa Bay Water Trail Access Points page implied that access to the Cedar River was from Tokeland.
It is an additional 7-mile round trip to start at Tokeland instead of where Highway 105 crosses it, without much to see in the open bay between. Furthermore, a portage would be required over the highway.
It didn’t look so inviting as it entered the bay. The tide here is at 2.5′ and falling.
This river would be a NO in my book for three reasons.
The third discouragement is the river outlet from under the highway. This massive wood door swings around on its chains as the flowing river lifts it. That is no place to be. Thinking about it, the door must be a giant check valve that closes when the tide rises to prevent salt water from flowing upriver. Still, I would NOT launch above something like this.
I headed another 5.5 miles to look at the Tokeland Marina.
I headed back but as I crossed the bridge I saw another turnout on the west side. I pulled off to give the river a final chance and it looked like a possibility, though the tide was very low.
I did hear a creature dive in close by but only saw a muddy trail underwater.
The banks were very steep, the river was near its shallows and, it really wasn’t a good idea to try to continue anyway.
I took a side trip to see the upriver side of the tidal gate. I stayed pretty far back as I’ve read how currents can stick a boat to blocking trees and gates.
My access slough was only a trickle, too shallow to paddle back.
Side note: I saw an illustration of a kayak being towed and now have a line around the deck to mimic it. Both line ends are near me while seated and also feed through a loop at the bow. In use, I can tie one end to another boat while reeling in or out the other end without ever leaving the seat. If snugged up and overlapping the stern of another single kayak I think I might have a tandem kayak on the cheap where either person can power the lashed together boats.
On the way home I double checked another google map trip and found it also needed correction. The Nemah River is difficult to launch onto as there is no highway turnoff and a lot of concrete barriers. I found a likely spot southwest at a small stream that feeds into the same area.