Will Cortez: It Doesn’t Always Rain in Oregon

It doesn’t always rain in Oregon

Instagram Handle: @will.version.two

LocationHenry Hagg Lake in Gaston, OR

Board: ISLE Explorer

A great escape

Story: The secret is out on Hagg Lake. It sits less than 40 miles west of Portland, Oregon and nestled in the beautiful Scoggins Valley. There’s not a weekend that the lake isn’t packed full of people fishing, wake boarders, or runners & cyclists circumnavigating its shores but it’s still my go-to location for paddle-boarding. Its multiple inlets offer the chance to explore, observe local fauna, hammer out a  workout and of course a chance to just be a part of nature.

 I grew up splitting my time in Hawaii and Southern California so when I made the trip up north to Oregon 25 years ago, I thought my days in the water were behind me. That’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re a Navy brat with a love for the wet stuff.


Pro Tips: Watch the forecast! In a state like OR, the weather can be drastically different an hour away!

I like to keep a small, hand broom with my board for use when rolling it up. Great way to brush off excess water, sand, dirt, rocks, etc when rolling it up to transport.

Skip the electric pump and use the manual pump especially during cold days. What a great way to warm up!



Hagg Lake has several inlets to explore that give way to calmer waters and a chance to spot local fauna.

Evening paddles make for stunning sunsets. They’re even better with friends

It does get cold enough to warrant a head-to-toe wet suit.