If you have never floated down a river in a tube or raft on a hot day with your favorite beverage in your hand, your missing out! River tubing can be dangerous however if you aren't familiar with the area or aren't prepared. So where are the safest and best places to go river tubing near the Tri-Cities?

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The first place you should think of for river tubing should be the Tapteal Water Trail. The trail "begins at the Benton City Recreation Area and Boat Launch and mileage is counted downstream before ending at Bateman Island – a distance of slightly over 30 miles." There is lots of wildlife to watch for including pelicans, egrets, and blue herons. The area has limited motor boats and is safe for tubing with a slow current.

Some local advice for the Tapteal Water Trail includes: "get out at Chamna or the I-82 bridge because below there you are going into the Bateman Island area and it's all slack water. (bring a paddle if you go that far down). A good Run is from The Benton City drop in, #1 on the map, and get out at Upper Horn Rapids #2 or Omaha Beach #3..Getting down to Horn Rapids park #4 will take about 5-6 hours. I haven't run it yet but #6 to #8 looks like a great run with good parking at both ends."

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The same forum on Reddit for Tri-Cities says another great place to put in for tubing is at the Twin Bridges. "I suggest putting in at twin bridges. The float has a good mix of shallow and fast with some slower deep parts. VanGiesen to Duportail is about 1.5 hours and goes through more populated areas, while Twin bridges to VanGiesen is about 3 and goes through farmland and bird sanctuaries. There is also some decent fishing along the way if you start at the bridge."

Another user warned to check the river levels before you go to make sure they are not dangerous. They also had a good suggestion after they " had a pretty nice float from Van Giesen to Duportail."

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Another Tricitian gave more great advice on where to park your car. "Getting in at Van Giesen is a good place and we usually get out just after passing under 182. There's a good parking lot there to leave your vehicle at" they said.

The last couple of tips revolve around staying alert because there have been a few tragedies where people have been hurt or injured on the river. Also make sure to tell someone where you are going, bring a friend, and have a great time before winter arrives!

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