PLAY: Trails & Boardwalk

Discovery Trail

The Discovery Trail begins at the Port of Ilwaco where you’ll find a brass sculpture of a California Condor spreading its wings. This sculpture commemorates a journal entry by William Clark, of Lewis and Clark, about a “buzzard of a large kind”. This is just the start of the 8.5-mile long hiking and biking trail named after the Corps of Discovery. Their journey ended here on the Long Beach Peninsula, and you will find several art installments and interpretive panels dedicated to their experiences along the trail.

Continue along the Port of Ilwaco where you can watch fishing boats coming and going in Baker Bay. The trail goes up a steep hillside and takes you straight to Cape Disappointment State Park where you can take slight detours to view the North Head Lighthouse and Beard’s Hollow. Continue on through a grove of ancient Sitka spruce, coastal forests, transitional wetlands, and windswept dunes. Let the sounds and sights of the beautiful Washington coast reinvigorate your soul.

Keep an eye out for the Gray Whale carvings near the Sid Snyder Beach Approach. Step off the trail and onto the Long Beach Boardwalk that drifts over the dunes. Pause to remember the harrowing journey of Lewis and Clark near the basalt monolith and statue of Clark standing over a sturgeon near the Bolstad Beach Approach. The trail ends behind the Breakers in Long Beach with a bronze replica of the tree Clark carved his initials into over two hundred years ago.

This journey through nature and history is incomparable. See it for yourself and find out why the Discovery Trail is a favorite year-round destination for many of our visitors!

Most of the trail is paved and there are multiple access points, making it easy to enjoy for adventurers of any age or skill level. Find bike rentals here.


Just a few interesting places you’ll find along the Discovery Trail!

Get the Free Map

Download the Discovery Trail Maps or email ask@funbeach.com with your mailing information to request a free copy.

Creation of the Discovery Trail

To honor the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the combined vision and hard work of a consortium of cities and public agencies have been involved in the construction, oversight, and maintenance of the Discovery Trail since fall of 2002. The cities of Long Beach and Ilwaco, with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, used assistance from the Washington State National Guard, Air Guard, and the Oregon National Guard to complete the trail, which stretches 8.5 miles from Ilwaco to north Long Beach.

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