Seaside Stories

4 Favorite Hikes Around Town

May 5, 2017 | by Shellie Bailey-Shah

Hiking Saddle Mountain is one of our four favorite hikes around Seaside.

One of the best ways to take in Seaside’s natural beauty is to explore the beaches, forests and nearby mountains. The sheer variety of trails in and around town means you have plenty of options, from kid-friendly strolls on the Prom to more strenuous climbs with stunning views. Don’t know where to start? Here are a four favorite hikes for you to choose from. You’ll find even more hikes with detailed trail descriptions here.

FOR YOUNG KIDS

Yes, the walk along Seaside’s Promenade is more of a stroll than a hike, but it’s a longstanding family favorite. It’s 1.5 miles at length and completely paved, so it’s perfect for strollers. Start your walk just before sunset so that you can appreciate those stunning ocean views. Park at the Tides by the Sea at the end of Avenue U in south Seaside or at the west end of 12th Avenue in north Seaside.

FOR NATURE LOVERS

The Mill Ponds Trail (also known as Chapman Ponds) provides hikers with excellent opportunities to view wildlife. Part of the Neawanna Creek watershed, this nature area consists of two ponds: one freshwater and the other tidal-influenced. It’s home to various species of mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects, but the big draw is the birds.

In the spring, colorful, neo-tropical migrants — including Wilson’s warblers, orange-crowned warblers and warbling vireos — feed here on their travels along the Pacific Flyway. In the winter, you’ll find sparrows in addition to migrant Harlequin and wood ducks. Keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of ospreys, a favorite among birders here.

The trail is flat and less than a mile in length, making it an easy outing for families. To get to Mill Ponds, take Highway 101 to Avenue S and then to Alder Mill Road, where you can park at the end of the street.
 


 

FOR LIGHTHOUSE VIEWS

The Tillamook Head Trail affords hikers glimpses of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, also known as “Terrible Tilly.” The lighthouse sits atop a rock formation about a mile off of Tillamook Head. Now decommissioned, Tilly’s light guided sailors for 77 years until it was officially decommissioned in 1957.

You’ll have to work for those stunning coastal views! You start by parking at the entrance to the Elmer Feldenheimer Forest Reserve on the south side of Seaside, where the trail begins. Rated as a moderately difficult hike, the entire trail to Ecola State Park just north of Cannon Beach is 6.3 miles with an elevation gain of 1,126 feet, but of course, you’ll need to hike back, too. Or you could just go as far as the highest point, where you’ll find a lonely tree sitting on top of a rock face.

Much of the hike is in a deep coastal forest. On a hot summer day, you’ll appreciate the shade. When you arrive at the lighthouse viewpoint, stop a moment, close your eyes and listen. In the distance, you’ll likely hear barking from the sea lion colony that inhabits Tilly’s rock. OK, open your eyes again, because it’s a long way down!

FOR BURNING CALORIES

Recommended for experienced hikers, the Saddle Mountain Trail has expansive views — you can see all the way to the Pacific on a clear day. From Seaside, drive about 30 minutes to Saddle Mountain State Park; once you turn off Highway 26, you’ll drive another 7 miles to reach the parking lot and trailhead.

Most of the hike is below tree line and consists of switchbacks that climb 1,615 feet to the top. Along the way, you’ll find a few viewpoints with picnic tables. The final quarter-mile is steep and exposed to the wind and sun. Take your time to appreciate the wildflowers that grow along this section of the trail.

At the top, you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the ocean, the Columbia River, the Coast Range, and, if you’re really lucky, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker and Mt. Hood. But know, this is the Oregon Coast, where you could find yourself completely socked in by clouds. Either way, you’ll have burned some serious calories.

and so much more!

Broadway Retro

A look at downtown Seaside during the 1960s

Learn More
Snail Mail: the Agony & the Ecstasy

Snail mail in Seaside circa 1909.

Learn More
Insider Tips: Exploring the Prom Like a Local

It’s difficult to imagine Seaside without the historic Promenade, the famous lamp-lined trail that stretches along the sandy bea...

Learn More
SOLV Beach Clean Up

When I look at our beaches I don’t see garbage. I see a breathtaking coastline, and I think how lucky we are to have such pristine beauty right in our own backyard. I believe most beachgoers, both locals and tourists, are conscientious about disposing their refuse properly after a day playing on the beach. So why do we have the SOLV beach cleanup twice a year?

Learn More
The Spirits of Seaside Inside

Above photo: An old fashioned cask of beer in the historic Seaside Brewery by Jon Rahl, Seaside Visitors Bureau. Seaside has a lot...

Learn More
Roaming the Sand for Treasures

The beach is often filled with unique finds, especially after a storm.

Learn More
Top Things to Do With Teens

Traveling with too-cool-for-school teens? I feel you. I have two teenagers myself. But be assured, you’ll find plenty of totally...

Learn More
The Cove in Seaside

Rain or shine, the Seaside Cove is a must-see-stop whether you’re a tourist or a local. It’s a mixture of sandy and rocky beach. There are tons of parking spots, and Seltzer Park is just across the street. There are public restrooms and a shower to rinse off sandy feet. There are also plenty of benches for both wave watching and people watching.

Learn More
Pedal Boating through Seaside

Paddle boating Seaside is another unique way to see Seaside while getting a little exercise in the process.

Learn More
Terrible Tilly

A brief history of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, or better know as "Terrible Tilly"

Learn More
Guide to Spring Events in Seaside

If you think Seaside is simply a summertime destination, get ready to adjust your mindset! Seaside offers something for all visito...

Learn More
October is a Fickle Friend in Seaside

October weather is unpredictable on Oregon's North Coast

Learn More
All About Independence Day 2020 in Seaside

Let’s be clear: July 4th is going to look a little different in Seaside this year. While many of your favorite events had to...

Learn More
Top Things to Do With Young Kids

Seaside has long been a favorite family retreat, but it’s an especially good choice for families with young children. Why? Becau...

Learn More
Bell Buoy of Seaside offers fresh seafood and features ready-to-eat items in an adjacent restaurant.
Can’t-Miss Dungeness Crab Eats

It’s a short journey from ocean to plate in Seaside, especially when it comes to Oregon’s official crustacean: the delectable ...

Learn More
Seaside Summer Event Guide

We know that Seaside’s stellar location is reason enough to visit. But summers here are jam-packed with events that you won’t ...

Learn More
Digging for the Bounty!

Razor clamming on Oregon

Learn More