Hike to explore the dazzling beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon has an unbelievable number of trails, pathways, and state forests, with a unique and diverse terrain, ranging from ocean to forest to wetlands and more. Heading out on an Oregon trail is like heading out on a timeless adventure. Below you’ll find five of the best hiking trails the Beaver State has to offer.
Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, Oregon, is part of the larger Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, and is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route. Climb the beautiful Cape Kiwanda sandstones for incredible views of the Oregon Coast. The hike is just over two miles. The hike is a lollipop loop with 230 feet of elevation gain. Make sure to stop behind the cape for the Gret Dune, “a massive hill of mudstone and sandstone layers cloaked in drifting sand with a toupee of salal and stunted Sitka spruce.” The trail is open year-round.
Abiqua Falls in Scott Mills, Oregon, is just under a mile. The difficulty is moderate, but hikers should trek carefully and families should watch out for the little ones. At the end of the road is a tremendous waterfall, the 92-foot Abiqua Falls, descending torrentially into a basalt bowl. If you prefer secluded hikes in beautiful natural surroundings, then Abiqua Falls is right up your alley.
A wonderful hike for the whole family, Sweet Creek Falls offers views of four waterfalls ranging from 10 to 30 feet. The hike is only 2.2 miles, and the only hazard to speak of is slippery moss. Choose from one of four trailheads, including the Homestead Trailhead, the Sweet Creek Falls Trailhead, Wagon Road Trailhead, and Beaver Creek Falls Trailhead, each with a shorter overall hike than the previous one. Leashed pets are allowed on the trail, and it’s open year-round.
For Stevens in Astoria, Oregon, is steeped in history. “Once the primary military defense installation in the three-fort, Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River,” the fort was in use from the Civil War until World War II. Seated on 4,300 acres, the park offers camping, beach-combing, trails, wildlife viewing, a historic shipwreck, and much more. Six miles of hiking will take you through forests, wetlands, shore pine areas, and dunes, depending on your fancy. For history lovers, Fort Stevens has it all.
Located in Southwest Washington, the Catherine Creek Natural Arch is just over two miles roundtrip and only has an elevation gain of about 250 feet. This is a perfect hike for little legs or less-experienced hikers. The terrain varies on this trip, making for an interesting hike. The big highlight of the trek is the stunning natural arch.