Every summer we do a camping with our school at Nehalem Bay State Park which is just outside of the gorgeous, tiny town of Manaznita. This year a group of us decided we wanted to add more hiking/walking to our stay and we checked out a couple of things.
The first was a walk from the campground to the Jetty. We were trying to follow William Sullivan’s map from memory (next time I will bring the book) and ended up getting a bit lost before finding our way out. Things had grown over, trees had fallen down to block paths, tides were in and we should have stuck to the beach and done an out and back instead of attempting the loop. It was a really nice walk though.
The bigger hike we did was up Neahkanie Mountain which is only a couple of miles from the campground and is a section of the Oregon Coast Trail and finds itself mainly with the bounds of the Oswald West State Park on the North side. Depending on which route you chose to do, either the 8-mile loop or the 3-mile out and back the difficulty ratings change from “Difficult” to “Moderate”. We decided to follow Willliam Sullivan’s 3-mile out and back route that day which can be found in his 100 Hikes: Oregon Coast & Range. You will be hiking through the old growth forest of Sitka spruce and Western Hemlock. You will also see several native plants to Oregon including our beautiful foxglove and red huckleberries (pictured right)!
This is an amazing hike on one of our clear days, which unfortunately we were not having the day we were were. You can see for miles from the summit. We were getting peak-a-boos of the coast and Nehalem Bay below us. From the summit you really feel as though you are standing on top of the world.
Here are a few stats on the hike we did:
- 3-miles round trip with the turn around at the summit (pictured right)
- 900 feet of elevation gained
- Lots of native wildflowers in bloom in late spring and through the summer: trilliums, salal, fawn lilies, mixed grasses, fox glove, etc.
- We hiked from the South Neahakanie Trailhead. Find trailhead location information here.
- Oregon Hikers has more information about the out and back hike here.
The tail gets pretty muddy with the wet weather and parts of the trail were starting to erode in the switchbacks a mile+ into the hike which made some of the going tough, especially for folks with shorter legs. I would suggest this hike for kids 8+ due to some really steep sections and some unsure footing due to this. If the path was in better condition I would recommend younger kids could do it easily too (you can see some of the erosion in the second picture from the top).
Overall this hike was really fun and we enjoyed it despite our disappointing views due to weather. We will do it again next year when we are in the area though and we will be watching for clear skies to pick our best moment!