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Halvor Tweto | 12.17.2015

The Oregon Coast is the most visited region in the state, and the reasons are legion. Tempestuous spring and winter months are perfect for watching waves and weather churn together over dramatic cliffs and headlands; summer and fall can bring mild temperatures that are ideal for beach exploration and a terrific relief from scorching inland weather. Protected lands such as the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and designated areas of conservation such as the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge are models for land and habitat conservation that help make the Oregon Coast a haven for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife year round. Whether you are looking to explore the southern sea stacks, the central dunes, or the northern heads and beaches, the Oregon Coast is a diverse destination that will leave you wanting more.

One of the best ways to experience the coast is by foot. Trails of every variety await: if you are searching for incredible challenges through remote terrain, headland traverses and stretches of the Oregon Coast Trail are just the ticket; if you prefer accessible and family-friendly walks, practically every park and beach is an opportunity. From simple strolls to expeditions, hikers on the Oregon Coast have plenty of options. Just make sure that any search for trails also includes a look at parks and beaches to expand your hiking options.

Neahkahnie Mountain. Photo by Tyson Gillard.

Any search for adventures on the Northern Oregon Coast should include an exploration of the hikes near Astoria, Seaside, and Cannon Beach. Hiking Tillamook Head from Seaside to Cannon Beach is a great way to get some perspective in this rough and densely vegetated terrain. Heading south, the trails in and near Oswald West State Park, including Cape Falcon, Short Sand, and Neahkahnie Mountain should make it into any hiking itinerary. Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cascade Head promise incredible views when the fog is elsewhere, and each is worth working into your itinerary if you have the time.

A Central Oregon Coast adventure plan should definitely include the Heceta Head Lighthouse and the nearby Hobbit Trail, both of which can be linked with the larger trail system around Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park. South of Florence begins the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which includes some of the most iconic walks on the entire coastline. Hikes leaving from Honeyman or into the Carter Dunes or the John Dellenback Trail are treks you won't soon forget.

Coquille Point, Kronenberg County Park. Photo by Halvor Tweto.

Once you start looking at adventures on the Southern Oregon Coast, you may need to call in sick to extend your trip. The string of state parks near Coos Bay are each worth a stop. Or you can make a day of it and hike from Sunset Bay State Park all the way to Cape Arago State Park and take everything in, including the phenomenal Shore Acres State Park! Head south to hike near Bandon's incredible sea stacks, hit the fascinating New River ACEC Trails, and spend some a time exploring the trails and beaches around Port Orford Heads.

The list of featured adventures below is just the beginning. Search the individual regions for a more thorough list, including plenty of amazing inland hikes that really should be on any hiker's list.


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