Best Easy Day Hikes Oregonand39;s North Coast  by Lizann Dunegan

Best Easy Day Hikes: Oregon's North Coast Guide Book

by Lizann Dunegan (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Oregonand39;s North Coast  by Lizann Dunegan
Oregon’s north coast offers miles of hiking along sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, dramatic headlands, and old-growth forests, from Fort Canby State Park in southwest Washington to Yachats, Oregon. This book directs you to 23 easy-to-follow trails that lead to some of the most scenic destinations, attractions, and wildlife viewing opportunities in the Northwest. Explore abandoned gun batteries at Fort Stevens Military Reservation, a historic lighthouse at Cape Meares State Park, or a sea cave at Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area. With concise descriptions and detailed maps for half-hour strolls to full-day adventures this handy pocket-size guidebook is for everyone, including families.

© 2004 Lizann Dunegan/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Oregon's North Coast" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 23.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 23.

This beach trek starts in the quaint town of Cannon Beach and heads south on a spacious sandy beach where you’ll pass 235-foot Haystack Rock. This distinct rock promontory is designated part of the Oregon Islands Wildlife Refuge and is an important nesting spot for several species of seabirds. At low tide you can explore the tide pools at the base of Haystack Rock and then continue your beach journey to the turnaround point at Tolovana Wayside.
Cannon Beach, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
The route takes you on a beach trek and then to the top of Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. You can explore tide pools, play in the surf, and enjoy spectacular views of Haystack Rock, Nestucca Bay to the south, and Cape Lookout to the north. Pacific City, a coastal hamlet nestled next to the Nestucca River, is home to striking Cape Kiwanda—a golden sand-stone headland sculptured by the relentless ocean swells of the Pacific. This small coastal town is well-known for its fleet of dory boats. Dories are flat-bottomed fishing boats, which can be launched off the flat sandy beach at the base of Cape Kiwanda.
Lincoln City, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
This route travels through a lush coastal forest of rare old-growth Sitka spruce to the end of scenic Cape Lookout in Cape Lookout State Park. Along the way there are magnificent views of Cape Meares to the north and Cape Kiwanda to the south. Gray whales can be seen in December, January, March, and April as they near the cape on their semiannual migrations. Cape Lookout, part of 2,000-acre Cape Lookout State Park (host to a campground, scenic Netarts Spit, and a variety of plants and animals), is a spectacular headland made up of a series of lava flows fifteen to twenty million years old. Jutting into the ocean like an arrowhead, its 400-foot cliffs are regularly pounded and carved by rhythmic waves and currents.
Tillamook, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
Cape Meares, located in Cape Meares State Park, is one of three scenic capes along the Three Capes Scenic Highway (the other two are Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda). A hike here includes numerous opportunities to view seabirds and migrating gray whales. Other attractions include the Cape Meares Lighthouse, which was built in 1890; old-growth Sitka spruce trees; spectacular ocean views; and abundant wildlife and coastal forestland. Plan on spending the better part of a day here—and be sure to bring your binoculars.
Tillamook, OR - Hiking
Take your pick of ten trails that wind through the 2,700-acre Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. Depending on the trail you select, you can experience a botanical wonderland of coastal forest, rocky tide pools, and other ocean spectacles, such as the geyser-like Spouting Horn and the narrow rock channel of Devil’s Churn. Plan on spending a few hours at the Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center. The center provides a good introduction to the plants and animals that live here, as well as a look into the area’s rich history.
Yachats, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 10
This route explores a unique coastal forest right in the heart of Astoria. You'll get to view a 300-year-old Sitka spruce tree and climb to the top of the historic, 125-foot Astoria Column. From the top of the column, you’ll have gorgeous views of downtown Astoria and the Columbia River. As the oldest settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, Astoria is dotted with historical Victorian homes and has several museums dedicated to preserving its history. The town is named after John Jacob Astor, who helped establish Fort Astoria in 1811.The area began to grow when settlers, many of Scandinavian descent, arrived in the area in the 1840s.The town is located on the south side of the Columbia River not far from the Columbia Bar (the mouth of the Columbia River).
Astoria, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Churning waves, offshore rocks, and an interesting sea cave are some of the many highlights on this fun coast hike. This route begins with a tour of Devils Punchbowl, a collapsed sea cave, and then you’ll take a stroll on Beverly Beach. This state natural area features dramatic rock formations and tidepools that can be explored at low tide. Begin by walking on the paved path that starts on the south side of the parking area next to the cliff’s edge. When you look over the edge, you’ll see waves frothing and churning in a collapsed sea cave that looks like a huge punch bowl.
Newport, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
This forest path descends 340 feet, taking you on a fun tour through a thick coastal forest and across a magnificent suspension bridge over Drift Creek. From the bridge you’ll have a grand view of the shimmering cascade of Drift Creek Falls.
Lincoln City, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Located in scenic Ecola State Park, this classic coastal route offers a winding singletrack trail through a dense coastal forest with amazing ocean views and a picturesque beach for a finale. Ecola State Park covers 1,304 acres and displays breathtaking views from several viewpoints. For a warm-up be sure to head toward the ocean on a short paved trail that leads to expansive viewpoints looking south toward Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. From this vantage point you may see the spouts of gray whales during their semiannual migration. These amazing marine mammals migrate south during December and January and return north in March and April.
Cannon Beach, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
This fun route combines three short trails in Fort Canby State Park that take you through an old-growth Sitka spruce forest, along scenic rocky coastline, and to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and the historic Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. There are many additional hiking opportunities available in the park, including a short loop trail leading to the North Head Lighthouse.
Long Beach, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
Shipwrecks, sandy beaches, and wetlands filled with wildlife await those who wander on trails and beachfront in Fort Stevens State Park. You can view the skeleton hull of the Peter Iredale, watch abundant bird life at the mouth of the Columbia, watch for migrating gray whales, take a stroll around scenic Coffenbury Lake, and learn about the area’s history at the Military Museum located inside the park.
Warrenton, OR - Hiking
This short paved trail explores the 3,900-acre Yaquina Estuary, located on the south side of Yaquina Bay in Newport. The nature trail is adjacent to the Hatfield Marine Science Center, which has a variety of displays that give you a closer look at the plants and animals that live on the Oregon Coast. Be sure to explore the exhibits in the science center after you complete the hike.
Newport, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
Take a picturesque walk to one of Oregon’s most photographed lighthouses. Nestled on the edge of the coastal protrusion Heceta Head, the 205-foot-tall Heceta Head Lighthouse is a welcoming beacon to ships and hikers alike. The Heceta (huh-SEE-tuh) Head Lighthouse stands as a quiet sentinel on the Central Oregon Coast, shining its beacon 21 miles out to sea.This magnificent structure was built in 1894 over a period of two years and at a cost of $80,000. The stone was shipped to the site from Oregon City, and the bricks and cement were brought in from San Francisco. Local sawmills supplied the wood, and the two-ton Fresnel lens was handcrafted and brought in by boat. The lighthouse and the scenic headland on which it sits owe their name to Captain Bruno Heceta, a Spanish captain who sailed his ship Corvette from Mexico to this part of the Oregon Coast.
Florence, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
This beautiful beach trek heads north to the mouth of the Nestucca River. Beachcombing and wildlife watching are favorite activities on this route. This peaceful beach hike travels north on a long sandy beach to the mouth of the Nestucca River. Look for sand dollars and other seashells as you hike north. Sand dollars are close cousins to sea stars and sea urchins. They have a pancake-like body, thousands of tube feet, and velvety, densely packed spines and move through the sand picking up small, edible particles. When alive the animal can be colored gray, red, or purple. Watch for brown pelicans flying above the waves, and listen to the loud calls of glaucous-winged gulls circling high.
Neskowin, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
This short interpretive trail explores a unique coastal forest ecosystem in the Mike Miller Educational Area. You'll hike past old-growth Sitka spruce trees and huge rhododendrons and over a small creek where you may see blue herons, ducks, and geese feeding. This interpretive trail winds through a coastal forest made up of shore pine, Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, grand fir, and western hemlock.The route follows an old railroad grade that once was used to transport lumber (and later, passengers and mail) from Yachats to Yaquina Bay. Before you start the hike, be sure to pick up a trail brochure, which points out the trail’s highlights. The gravel trail is lined with Pacific rhododendrons that grow to more than 30 feet tall.
Newport, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
Take an easy ramble among spectacular old-growth red cedar and Sitka spruce to a viewpoint of Munson Falls—Oregon’s second-highest waterfall. This short hike takes you along rambling Munson Creek, which is draped with big-leaf maple, old-growth western red cedar, and Sitka spruce. This small state natural site harbors what is thought to be one of the country’s tallest remaining Sitka spruce trees, at 260 feet. As you hike the short path, enjoy the soothing sounds of the creek and look for edible salmonberries in midsummer. After 0.3 mile you’ll arrive at a small picnic area and a viewpoint of the beautiful tiered cascade of 319-foot Munson Creek Falls—the highest in the Coast Range.
Tillamook, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.6
Take an amazing walk through a grove of old-growth coastal forest along the banks of Short Sand Creek to Short Sand Beach and Smugglers Cove in Oswald West State Park. Enjoy a day at the beach watching surfers and boogie boarders riding the waves, exploring tide pools, and enjoying gorgeous coastal scenery. This route takes you on an amazing walk through a giant stand of old-growth Sitka spruce, red cedar, and Douglas fir trees along the banks of picturesque Short Sands Creek. Start your journey at the wood trailhead sign located on the north side of the parking lot.Walk on the paved path as it leads you under the highway and descends at a gradual pace next to Short Sand Creek. Most likely you’ll share the trail with surfers and boogie boarders who are heading to Short Sand Beach and Smugglers Cove to spend the day riding waves.
Tillamook, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
This easy forest trek leads you into a canyon to a viewpoint of Pheasant Creek Falls and Niagara Falls. Other pleasant trailside distractions include the opportunities to view blacktailed deer and elk, taste salmonberries and thimbleberries, and wade in bouldery Pheasant Creek.
Beaver, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
This route takes you on a short tour of rocky coastline and beach where you can explore tide pools and watch for abundant bird and marine life.
Waldport, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.4
This route offers plenty of opportunities to view wildlife and enjoy beach activities in South Beach State Park. You'll walk on the beach to the south jetty, where you can watch for wildlife and soak in the views of Yaquina Bay, Yaquina Bay Bridge, and the Yaquina Lighthouse.
Newport, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 2