Travel & Places Other - Destinations

Top Three Hikes to Get Up Close and Personal With the Oregon Coast

The Oregon coast is one of the most breathtaking regions of the United States.
Whether you make this area your vacation destination or are visiting Portland and looking for a day hike with the opportunity to experience the fabulous coast line, here are three of the best hikes to do just that.
Clatsop Loop Trail: Ecola State Park Ecola State Park is a must-see on the Oregon coast with spectacular views of the Pacific as well as Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.
Sitting on a little rock also known as "Terrible Tilly" due to being in the middle of many strong ocean storms, the lighthouse is the focus of many ghostly tales.
Clatsop Loop Trail is just three-miles round trip, ideal for a short day hike, and begins at the north end of the Indian Beach parking lot and winds through the forest providing glimpses of the ocean and rocky shoreline through the canopy of trees.
A viewing point for the lighthouse can be found just past Hiker's Camp at the summit of the trail.
While this is a fairly short hike it's also very rewarding, and will leave you time to explore the tide pools found on the south end of Indian Beach.
Filled with brilliant colored starfish of all shades of pink, red, orange and purple along with a wide variety of other marine life, it's easy to spend hours here and never get bored.
Tillamook Head Trail - Seaside to Ecola State Park If you're looking for more of an intermediate hike that provides a decent workout and stunning views, the Tillamook Head Trail can be accessed in Seaside off Sunset Boulevard on the south side of town.
This trail can be hiked 5 ½ miles to Ecola State Park and back again for an 11-mile round trip hike but many people arrange to have someone pick them up on the other side.
The trail winds through the lush forest, across craggy cliffs and also offers panoramic views of the ocean.
Hikers walk in the foot-steps of Captain Clark and Sacajewa who made the trek across the headland in order to purchase whale blubber from the Indians in 1806, making use of whales that were occasionally stranded on the beach.
Clark documented his remarks upon gazing at the vast Pacific: "I behold the grandest and most pleasing prospect which my eyes ever surveyed.
" Among the stunning scenery, you'll spot a wide variety of mushrooms and wildflowers as well as the moss-covered trees that appear to be ready to come to life at any moment.
At the peak you'll reach sheer cliffs with the turquoise-colored waters crashing against the rocky shoreline below.
Four miles in, you'll come to the same viewpoint off the Clatsop Loop Trail where Tillamook Rock Lighthouse can be seen.
Picture-perfect photo opportunities abound - often you'll find the rock shrouded in fog, giving it an especially eerie feeling.
Oswald West State Park Ten miles south of Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach you'll find Oswald West State Park.
The quick hike to Short Sands Beach offers a good opportunity for those who have small children to introduce them to the joys of walking through the woods.
The one-mile trail winds through towering old growth Sitka Spruce and crosses a creek via a suspension -bridge opening up to beautiful Smuggler's Cove.
This is truly a slice of tranquil paradise with a cascading waterfall splashing onto the sand.
For a longer hike, the Cape Falcon Trail can also be accessed here, offering a four-mile trek and more amazing ocean views.

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