Hiking

Hiking around Seaside takes many forms. From a stroll or brisk walk along the ocean Promenade, a short, easy family hike at the estuary through Gateway Park, all the way to the challenge of nearby Saddle Mountain, there are a multitude of options for every age and ability.

 

The North Coast Land Conservancy, Necanicum Watershed Council and Sunset Empire Park and Recreation offer special interest themed hikes and work party hikes at various times. Consider using our calendar of events to stay up-to-date on these outdoor adventures.

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Hiking Trails of Seaside

Understand Seaside's hiking rules and trail etiquette. Download PDF.

Gearhart Ridge Path Trail

  • TRAIL DISTANCE

    3 miles

  • ELEVATION GAIN

    30 ft.

  • Maximum elevation

    30 ft.

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Trail Description

This is a nice and easy stroll for the family along a ridge path overlooking Gearhart's shoreline. Distance depends on how long you stay on the path! Park your car at either end or in the middle at City Hall on Pacific Way. Take the trail through the center of Gearhart, head north or south, depending on where you started.
Take a detour due west and walk along the sand—especially during a beautiful sunset. At low tide, the wet sand creates a perfect walking surface and you might even find a sand dollar along the way. You may even run into some local residents of the 4-legged variety. A local elk herd is seen strolling through town and along the dunes at times.
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Seaside Promenade

  • TRAIL DISTANCE

    1.5 miles each way

  • ELEVATION GAIN

    4 ft.

  • Maximum elevation

    30 ft.

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Trail Description

The 1.5-mile Promenade is one of Oregon’s oldest and best loved landmarks. The Prom stretches from Avenue U on the south end of Seaside, to 12th Street at the north end. It is a 12-foot wide, smooth concrete surface, perfect for a stroll or a quick-paced hike. Great views of the ocean and the opportunity to detour onto the beach makes this a great family hike any time of the day and in any weather.

Restrooms: At 12th Ave and the Prom, at the Turnaround (in front of Shilo Inn oceanfront), approximately half way. Although the trail info shows an accumulated height gain of 270 feet this is not the case, the prom is flat all the way, making it a perfect family walk or just an opportunity to spend quality time with that special person.

Park at the Tides by the Sea at the end of Ave U in south Seaside or at the west end of 12th Ave on the north end of Seaside.

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Mill Ponds Trail

  • TRAIL DISTANCE

    0.75 miles

  • ELEVATION GAIN

    0 ft.

  • Maximum elevation

    15 ft.

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Trail Description

This is a leisurely 0.75-mile hike around the old Chapman Ponds and back, where hikers can observe many bird species and local wildlife. Located just off Hwy 101 in Seaside, take Avenue S to Alder Mill Road. Park at the end of Alder Mill Road.
The Mill Ponds offer diverse bird species viewing as the site consists of two ponds; one fresh water, and one tidal influenced due to being connected to Neawanna Creek. Year round, this is a bountiful wildlife environment teeming with birds and other wildlife. As part of the Neawanna watershed, numerous species of plants, mammals, fish, insects, reptiles and amphibians live in this North Coast ecosystem. Spring brings brightly colored neo-tropical migrants which feed on insects and nectar plants here while traveling on their journey along the Pacific Flyway.
Neo-tropical migrants include Wilson’s warbler, Orange-crowned warbler, warbling vireo. Many wintering species of sparrows are present. Winter migrants include exquisite water fowl to include Harlequin duck and Wood duck. There is trail around the ponds to provide good vantages for birders.
Birds to be viewed at this location include: Wood duck, Harlequin duck, Hutton’s vireo, Bufflehead, Wren tit, American coot, Osprey, Belted kingfisher, Wilson’s warbler, Warbling vireo, Orange-crowned warbler.

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Tillamook Head Trail

  • TRAIL DISTANCE

    6.3 miles each way

  • ELEVATION GAIN

    1,126 ft.

  • Maximum elevation

    1,248 ft.

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Trail Description

Park at the entrance to the Elmer Feldenheimer Forest Reserve at the Tillamook Head trail head. The trail is obvious in most places. However, there are trees down over the route after a series of coastal storms so you should be prepared to scramble over some and around others a few times on the route. The trail is a fairly easy climb and you will now when you are nearing the top when you have wooden planks on the trail. The highest point is not obvious however. It is at a point on the trail where a tree sits alone on top of a rock face that can only been seen just after you past it.

Be careful if you go to the very top as a small slip could be fatal if you go over the edge.
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Fort To Sea Trail

  • TRAIL DISTANCE

    5.62 miles each way

  • ELEVATION GAIN

    272 ft.

  • Maximum elevation

    273 ft.

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Trail Description

Trail Info: The 6.3-mile Fort to Sea Trail can be started at three different points: Sunset Beach access on Hwy 101 going west to east, Fort Clatsop going east to west, or a slightly longer version that starts at Netul Landing a little further down the road from Fort Clatsop.

Start from Fort Clatsop take the rising gradient trail to the Clatsop Ridge Overlook at 1.5 miles, then drop down to the undulating trail under the forest canopy until you reach the overpass bridge after another 2.5 miles at Hwy 101. From there, take the mostly open trail over rolling hills and pasture to the west trail head and parking lot at Sunset Beach entrance. You can then walk another .3 miles to the viewing deck to admire the expansive ocean before you.

Restrooms – at the Fort Clatsop trail head and Sunset Beach trail head.

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Neahkahnie Hike & Bike

  • TRAIL DISTANCE

    4.68 miles

  • ELEVATION GAIN

    1,258 ft.

  • Maximum elevation

    1,705 ft.

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Trail Description

Head out south from Seaside approximately 23 miles on a great coastal drive down Hwy 101 with excellent views and scenery. Drop your bike off at the parking area where you will see a sign on the East side of 101 that says “Oregon Coast Trail.”

Between mile post 41 and 42 you will see the sign for Neahkahnie Mountain. You can park at the side of Hwy 101 on the east side of the road or at the trail head. The Hwy 101 parking is preferred, as it gives a little time to warm up into the hike and the road is easier on your vehicle. The route is relatively straight forward with a series of zig-zags followed by a straight trail toward the peak.

On a good day views from the peak are outstanding. Follow the trail to the north end. The trail appears to go in a north-easterly direction at one stage, just stay on the obvious trail and it will descend back down to Hwy 101 and the ocean. Ride your bike back around the highway (not for children) to the south end and your vehicle. The north end trail head sign says “Oregon Coast Trail” and not Neahkahnie Mountain.

Restrooms: Oswald West State Park parking lot on Hwy 101 about 2 miles north from the north trail head.

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Cathedral Tree Trail

  • TRAIL DISTANCE

    1 mile each way

  • ELEVATION GAIN

    100 ft.

  • Maximum elevation

    125 ft.

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Trail Description

Cathedral Tree to Astoria Column is a 2 mile out and back trail located near Astoria.
The forested ridge of Coxcomb Hill which rises above the city of Astoria holds a couple of extraordinary sights that can be visited using a small network of trails. One is a 300+ year-old Sitka spruce that sprouted from a nurse log and has now reached about 8 1/2 feet in diameter and 200 feet in height. The final destination of this hike is the top of the Astoria Column, only 125 feet high but whose observation deck can be reached via a spiral staircase. From the deck, take in the views south towards Saddle Mountain and west towards the mouth of the Columbia River.

From the small Irving Avenue Trailhead, take the Richard Fencsak Cathedral Tree Trail behind a white gate (Fencsak was a trail builder and owner of a local bike shop). Coltsfoot and skunk-cabbage bloom along here in early spring. The trail, initially a wide gravel path, rises under Sitka spruce, western hemlock, salmonberry, salal, and red elderberry. The area is more open now since a big December 2007 windstorm. Little interpretive signs explain some plants along the trail. Keep ascending into woods that are less devastated and reach a wooden staircase that leads to a boardwalk. At a junction, go left about 40 yards to the Cathedral Tree, a large Sitka spruce with a buttress-like base that remains standing although the devastation around it leaves it rather isolated.

You can return the way you came or make a loop using Irving Avenue. To accomplish the latter, head down to the saddle and, just before reaching it, go left on the trail that leads to Irving Avenue. Pass under a mossy elderberry bower and enter hemlock woods. At a junction, go right and wind down steeply. At another junction, go left over a footbridge in a soggy bog. The trail braids and then loops around to the right to reach a gravel road (actually 22nd Street). Drop down past homes to Irving Avenue and go right to 28th Street.

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Saddle Mountain Trail

  • TRAIL DISTANCE

    2.5 miles each way

  • ELEVATION GAIN

    1,615 ft.

  • Maximum elevation

    3,306 ft.

  • Difficulty

    Hard

Trail Description

The Saddle Mountain State Park entrance is located just beyond mile post 10, going east on Hwy 26 from Seaside. The trail head is 7 miles from the entrance to the park. The road is very bumpy so be kind to your vehicle suspension!

The trail starts at an easy pace and starts zig-zagging after about 1 mile. The trail gets progressively steeper and more arduous as it progressively gains height. Just before the saddle, it levels out prior to a decent between the two peaks. An even steeper trail takes you to the summit. On the steeper parts, the trail is covered with wire to provide a good footing and reduce erosion.

There are a few places to stop on the way that include a table and seating. This is a classic mountain hike with tremendous views. If the weather is good you can see Mt St Helens and Mt Hood to the east, while viewing the Pacific Ocean to the west.

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