Active Adventure: Soak up the Best of the Summer on the Oregon Coast
Updated April 4, 2019
Don’t fret the end of summer, instead pack up the family, load the bikes, grab the hiking boots and head to the perfect peak-of-summer spot: the Oregon Coast.
Though the entire 300 miles or so of the Beaver State’s coastline is ripe for adventure, the traditional Oregon Coast excursion radiates out of Newport, a charming port town just about in the middle of the coast, 135 miles from Portland.
The views don’t get much better than some of those you can take in from a hike along the Oregon Coast. Cascade Head is 35 miles north of Newport but worth every mile of the drive. The 6-mile roundtrip hike features old-growth forests, endangered flora and a jaw-dropping view down the Oregon coastline.
Drift Creek Falls is just 3 miles roundtrip and includes a one-of-a-kind suspension bridge looking over a 75-foot waterfall. Several hikes trail out of the imposing Cape Perpetua and its nearby visitor center. These include a 2.6-mile stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail, the short Cape Cove Trail to the beach and the Giant Spruce Trail, an easy 2-mile roundtrip stroll to a humbling giant spruce tree.
You’re on the beach, right? Why not ride down it on a fat bike, available for rent? There are plenty of other two-wheeled options out on the coast—like the 6-mile South Beach Trail out of Newport, a family-friendly trail with some scenic vistas and beach access. The Bay Road ride is a scenic pedal that can be up to 30 miles roundtrip along Yaquina Bay, or you can bomb the 5.6-mile trail near Ollala Lake.
Late summer’s about as warm as it’s ever going to get on the Oregon Coast, so that’s the perfect time to hit the waves. Agate Beach is a popular spot with some good beginner breaks, as is South Beach State Park. Need a lesson? Try Ossies Surf Shop. [Photo courtesy of Kirt Edblom via Flickr.]
Get out on the water safely with a fairly calm paddle around Yaquina Bay, accented with plenty of marine wildlife and the sites and sounds of the bustling bay. A good put-in is at the south end of the bay near the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The Beaver Creek area is also a favorite for exploring the coastal wetlands. Launch from Ona Beach at Brian Booth State Park.
Beaches for Walking and Running
Think all the beaches of the Oregon Coast are the same? Think again. All kinds of different beaches—each one unique—sprawl along the coastline near Newport, from the intriguing Cobble Beach to the sandy expanse that stretches away from Beverly Beach State Park. [Photo courtesy of Thomas Shahan via Flickr.]
What are some of your favorite beach towns to spend an active day on the coast? Share with us by leaving a comment below!