Our area offers an excellent selection of hiking trails through tall trees, along creeks and with stunning coastal views:
Neahkahnie Mountain is a favorite hike with a fabulous view of the coastline – the only peak to rise directly above the sea. To climb to its 1,661-foot summit from the campsite and creek area, follow the signs 1.3 miles through woods and then through the Neahkahnie Punchbowl to the highway. Cross the highway and continue uphill on a moderate grade for 2.5 miles to the summit where one has a wide-open spectacular view of Nehalem Bay and the Pacific Ocean. On a clear day, you can see for 50 miles. The Oregon Coast Trail continues south another 1.8 miles through lush forest with views of ridges of the Coast Range to intersect again with US 101.
Another favorite: take the Cape Falcon Trail from Short Sands Beach (inside Oswald West State Park) to 750 foot Cape Falcon. The 1.8-mile trail picnic area. As you near the tip of the cape, take the left spur where the trail divides. This goes out onto a vegetated knoll where you can wander among paths through very thick bushes to overlook points on the scenic coast. Smuggler’s Cove is below, with Point Illga to the south. The right spur on the trail is the continuation of the Oregon Coast Trail and goes another 5.6 miles through dense woods, over Arch Cape, crossing the highway and descending through ancient forest via an old mail route to the town of Arch Cape. Don’t cancel your hike if you encounter misty rain – the trees form a shelter to let you feel the pulse of what nourishes this rain forest.