Posted on April 1, 2011
Whether strolling a dock at the Port of Ilwaco, leaving footprints on the beach or hiking through the state park, the Long Beach Peninsula offers almost endless possibilities for visitors to park the car and venture outside. Below are some of our favorite spots for discovering the Peninsula on foot.
Cape Disappointment’s Washington Coast Trail links together a series of smaller trails with a primary route of about 4.5 miles. Several “spur trails” branch off this main route to areas within the State Park.
Discovery Trail. The City of Long Beach, along with the City of Ilwaco and a number of State and National agencies, have constructed a paved trail that follows the final miles of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The trail rises from downtown Ilwaco, over Cape Disappointment and north through the sandy dunes to its culmination in north Long Beach.
Fort Columbia, just east of the village of Chinook, offers walks & hikes of all ability levels from meandering the roads and paths of the Fort, viewing restored gun emplacements and batteries, historic barracks and the Fort Columbia Interpretive Center to spectacular views of the mouth of the Columbia from the hillside of the fort area.
Leadbetter Point State Park, in the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, is host to four key hiking trails. Located on the tip of the Long Beach Peninsula, Leadbetter Point separates Willapa Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Preserved in its natural state by two public agencies, the point’s appearance changes constantly as dunes shift, become stabilized or erode away. The Peninsula is in its geologic “youth” at Leadbetter Point, where it still continues to grow.
Interpretive Art Trail. This first-in-the-nation art-inspired trail features the work of public art students from the University of Washington. Replacing traditional interpretive signs made of wood and words, the artwork provides visitors with an image that inspires reflection on the wildlife wonders in the area. [more]
Walking Tour of Historic Oysterville. Oysterville is proud of the fact that it was placed on the Register of National Historic Districts in 1976. The District encompasses about 80 acres of the village and boasts a year-round population of less than a dozen. If you want to see, in a small way what Oysterville looked like in the old days, you’ll enjoy this tour.
Stroller’s Guide to Victorian Seaview. Walking around Seaview, traditional summer retreat for the Portland elite, it’s easy to feel yourself transported back to a simpler time when neighbors visited on porches and shared campfires on the beach. A walking tour of Seaview’s side streets offers visitors a glimpse into the past. This is one of the best preserved of the summer resorts in the Pacific Northwest.
Walking Tour of Ocean Park. Ocean Park marks its beginning more than a century ago as a Christian revival center. Now the most populated unincorporated community in the county, Ocean Park is home to about 1400 permanent residents and an estimated 10,000 seasonal dwellers.
Centennial Murals Tour. Since 1986, 19 Pacific County walls have become canvases for colorful and historical murals; 17 murals remain. The murals, which are the work of 14 artists, string from Tokeland to Chinook to Ocean Park and were painted to commemorate the Washington State Centennial in 1989, Each of the artists contributed a great deal toward helping recreate a glimpse into Pacific County’s rich and colorful past.
Butte Creek Picnic Area & Trail — Open May 1 – November 1
Old growth Sitka forest on the historic Marion and Sarah Ann Monohon homestead turned public area. Raymond High School students maintain the trail and facilities; look for dark forest dominated by spruce with some Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir, along with a thick carpet of moss. Butte Creek, a small stream, runs through the parcel and the trail crosses it several times. The terrain is easy; forest paths with an elevation gain of 200 feet. 1.5 miles round trip.
From Raymond travel north on US 101 2.5 miles. Butte Creek Picnic Area is on the right (east) just beyond Mile Post 61.
The picnic area has a restroom; likely no water.
Tunerville Campground — Open year-round
Popular with picnickers, hikers, strollers and equestrian, Turnerville campground is just out of Naselle, Washington. The trail is hilly, but the path itself is easy. Access to horse and human water sources, ample parking, good picnic areas and campsites. There are restrooms at the trailhead; the camp and trail are approximately 6 miles long. Expect winding paths through trees, old logging roads and corrals.
Drive 6.4 miles west of Rosburg on State Route 4; then turn north onto Salmon River Road.
But wait! There’s more!
- 28-miles of uninterrupted beach and the extensive system of paths through the sensitive dune system offer an unending array of unique walking and hiking experiences.
- The Trails of Loomis Lake State Park offer short and easy access to the beach.
- The Trails of Pacific Pines State Park offer short and easy access to the beach.
- Long Island Trails are accessible only by canoe or kayak and offer old growth forests and a variety of wildlife.