Nature Tours In Seaside Oregon, Explore Endless Miles Of Scenery.
Ecola State Park
One of Ecola State Park’s first attractions was a beached whale. In 1806, Capt. William Clark and twelve members of the Corps of Discovery climbed over rocky headlands and fought their way through thick shrubs and trees to get to the whale in what is now Ecola State Park. Today, a paved road from Cannon Beach makes your trek to the park much easier. Winding your way through towering Sitka spruce, you suddenly emerge upon a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. Be sure to have your camera ready.
Tillamook Head Trail
Wrapping around Tillamook Head between Seaside and Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park is a hiking and sightseeing mecca with a storied past. Trails for Explorers, Trails with cliffside viewpoints above nine miles of Pacific Ocean shoreline overlook picture postcard seascapes, cozy coves, densely forested promontories and even a long-abandoned offshore lighthouse. The trail network includes an eight-mile segment of the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT)—the park’s backbone—and a 2.5 mile historical interpretive route called the Clatsop Loop Trail.
Visit the Necanicum Estuary behind Seaside High School on South Holladay off Highway 101. Watch for Great Blue Heron - a common sight year-round along the North Coast. They can often be seen wading in shallow water, stalking fish and other prey. You will also find many types of other birds in the estuary. This park has a boardwalk, a viewing deck, estuary and beach access, and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
Saddle Mountain - 5.2 miles round trip Between the months of March and December, the serious hiker can venture to the top of Saddle Mountain, the highest peak in the Northern Coast Range. Atop the 3,283 foot mountain, hikers can see the Coastal Mountain Range, including Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood, the Pacific Ocean, Astoria, and the Columbia River. Hundreds of rare and interesting wildflowers grow here as well. Saddle Mountain is located 10 miles East of Seaside off Highway 26.
Fort To Sea Trail
6.5 miles each way, this Lewis & Clark inspired trail was opened recently during the 2005 bicentennial celebration to commemorate the trek of the Corps of Discovery from their temporary fort to the ocean. Hikers travel on a nicely maintained trail through dunes, coastal forests, wetlands, country pastures, and other varied landscape. Footbridges take you over the numerous lakes and rivers along the way, and a pedestrian underpass has been created under Highway 101. You can begin the hike at the Sunset Beach Recreation area off Highway 101, or from the other end of the trail at Fort Clatsop. Shorter hikes are also possible around Fort Clatsop, and several are wheelchair accessible.
Fort Stevens State Park
Fort Stevens was the primary military defense installation in the three fort Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River (Forts Canby and Columbia in Washington were the other two). The fort served for 84 years, beginning with the Civil War and closing at the end of World War II. Today, Fort Stevens has grown into a 4,200 acre park offering exploration of history, nature, and recreational opportunities. And you can help fund historic programs and restoration at the park! The Friends of Old Fort Stevens will run Wood on Wheels this summer, selling and delivering firewood right to your site. Check it out when you arrive! Camping, beachcombing, freshwater lake swimming, trails, wildlife viewing, an historic shipwreck and an historic military area make Fort Stevens a uniquely diversified park. A network of nine miles of bicycle trails and six miles of hiking trails allow you to explore the park through spruce and hemlock forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine. Coffenbury Lake has two swimming areas, a picnic area, restrooms, and a boat ramp (10 mph boating speed limit). Two other smaller lakes offer boat ramps for fishing and canoeing. Throughout the year, you can browse through displays dating back to the Civil War at the museum, visit the only enclosed Civil War earthworks site on the west coast, and explore the gun batteries. During the summer, tour a rare 90-year old underground gun battery that served as a World War II command center, and take a truck tour of the fortifications spanning the Spanish-American War and World War II (tour available at a nominal charge).
Oswald West State Park
Step out of your vehicle and into a place with natural beauty that truly inspires. Just a quarter mile from any of the parking areas to the beach, yet the rigors of everyday life are stripped away by the time your feet hit the sand. Although the walk is short, there are several different trails to the beach that lead you to the Cape Falcon overlook or to the Oregon Coast Trail. Be sure to pick up a map on the way into the park. All of the trails to the beach are through a mature forest; one trail follows the winding path of the Short Sand creek. This trail gives way to the spectacular view of the ocean and the creek meeting. This is your first glimpse of the ocean and Short Sand Beach. Located 20 minutes South of Seaside, Oswald West State Park features miles of trails that wind through old-growth coastal rainforests. Explore Cape Falcon, Short Sand Beach in Smugglers Cove, or cross a suspension bridge and hike 3.8 miles to the summit of Neahkahnie Mountain and view miles of Oregon coastline.
The Astoria Column
The Astoria Column has served for over 80 years as a beacon on the Pacific Northwest Coast. It sits in a wooded area 600 feet above sea level on Coxcomb Hill, Astoria, Oregon’s highest point. Majestic views of the countryside surrounding Astoria are the great Pacific Ocean to the west and the mighty Columbia River to the north. Snow-capped volcanoes of the Cascade Range rise to the east and Saddle Mountain reaches to the sky on the southern horizon. The story behind the Column, its deterioration and rescue by the Friends of Astoria Column, rivals the history it depicts. Learn more about its past and become part of its future by highlighting the topics on the left side of this screen.
Sea Lions In Astoria
Sea Lions can often be found out on the docks, in Astoria and elsewhere in Oregon. Most likely you will find them at the East Mooring Basin, at the foot of 36th Street. You can hear them from the rooms in the nearby hotels.
Clatsop county maintains two day use parks on Cullaby Lake, one half mile east of Hwy 101. Carnahan Park has 30 acres at the north end of the lake. Cullaby Lake Park is the site of the historic Eric Lindgren home. This 165 acre park has a boat ramp, restrooms, picnic shelters, and barbecue pits.
Del Rey Beach State Park
Ever wanted to drive on the beach ? In the good old days people used to use the beach to get from one town to another. Motorized vehicles are allowed on the beach on this 10 mile stretch between Gearhart and Warenton. The road leads west to a large parking lot with vehicle access to the beach. Be sure to take along plenty of sand toys, buckets for collecting shells and small rocks that might wash up on shore, keep a lookout for seals and whales that frequent this area and make a day of it !