Hike the moss-draped rainforest, catch a wave, paddle quiet waterways or go on a scenic bicycle tour. Outdoor recreation areas surrounding Cannon Beach offer a wide range of active adventures.
Hit the Trail
Whether you enjoy an easy scenic walk or a rugged hike of several miles, Cannon Beach offers access to some of the Northwest's most scenic views and a wide diversity of wildlife. Hikers can traverse coastal rainforest where some of the world's tallest trees tower over your head. Meander through wildflower covered meadows, pass through wetland habitats or walk miles of uninterrupted beach. Many of the best hikes can be found in Ecola State Park and Oswald West State Park. Ecola State Park is located just north of the city limits and offers a two-mile hiking trail leading from the Ecola viewpoint to Indian Beach. At Indian Beach, the Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail follows the western edge of Tillamook Head through coastal rainforest, six miles to Seaside. At Oswald West State Park, about 10 minutes south of Cannon Beach, a short paved trail from the main parking area leads to Short Sands Beach, a popular surfing location. Other hikes include a 3.8-mile trail to the 1661-foot summit of Neahkahnie Mountain and a two-mile hike through coastal forest to the end of Cape Falcon. Just east of Cannon Beach, off Highway 26, experienced hikers can climb to the top of Saddle Mountain, the highest point in the Coast Range. The Cannon Beach Information Center (Second and Spruce streets downtown) can provide additional information on these and other state park hiking trails.
Pedal in Paradise
Rent funcycles for three-wheeling beach fun or tour the coast on two wheels. The Oregon Coast Bike Trail along Highway 101 makes biking possible along nearly the entire stretch of the Oregon coast. One of the easiest and most scenic touring routes is south of Cannon Beach to Arcadia Beach or Hug Point. For experienced cyclists, the 16-mile trip south on Highway 101 from Cannon Beach to Manzanita offers scenic views past Silver Point, Arcadia Beach, Hug Point, Oswald West State Park and up Neahkahnie Mountain to spectacular roadside viewpoints. Many off-road biking areas are also open to mountain bikes. Though bikes are not permitted on state park hiking trails, most logging roads around Cannon Beach are open for off-road biking adventures. Ask at the local bike shop for more off-road biking trails.
Several golf courses are located within 20 miles of Cannon Beach. Tee off at Gearhart Golf Links, Oregon's oldest golf course, established in 1892. Three other nine-hole courses are located nearby including the Seaside Golf Course, the oceanview Highlands Golf Club in Gearhart and Manzanita Golf Course.
Ride the Waves or Wind
Cannon Beach and nearby recreation areas offer world class surfing. Nearby surfing locations provide opportunities for all levels of experience and local surf shops can guide you to the best location for your skill level. They also provide gear for sale or rent including complete rental packages by the hour or by the day. For beginning surfers, lessons from experienced surf instructors are available. Kite boarding is also an increasingly popular sport, combining the power of the wind with water skiing, surfing and radical air time.
Fish, Crab or Clam
Dig for razor clams, book a charter fishing adventure or go crabbing. The region offers world class fishing with seasonal runs of salmon and steelhead. Ocean charter fishing is available north of Cannon Beach in Warrenton, Astoria and Ilwaco, Washington. To the south, charters can also be booked in Garibaldi. Boats and crab pots can be rented on Nehalem Bay. Contact a local sporting goods store or the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for information on fishing licenses and seasons.
There are several locations for touring kayaks to explore nearby creeks, rivers, bays and lakes within minutes of Cannon Beach, including the Nehalem River and Bay, Necanicum River in Seaside, Coffenbury Lake in Fort Stevens State Park and Cullaby Lake, just north of Seaside.
From mid-May to Labor Day, Sea Ranch Stables offers horseback rides on the beach. Guided rides are led along Ecola Creek to Chapman Point and south to Haystack Rock. There are also night rides to Silver Point at minus low tides. Book your ride in person at Sea Ranch Stables just north of downtown Cannon Beach.
• Venture into the moss-draped rainforest at Ecola State Park.
• Rent funcycles for family fun on three wheels on the beach.
• Take on a guided horseback ride to Chapman Point or Haystack Rock.
• Hike to the tip of Cape Falcon in Oswald West State Park.
• Buy a lesson or rent a surf package from a local surf shop.
to Coast Explorer
Subscribe to Coast Explorer Magazine now and don't miss another issue featuring our beautiful photography and design, interesting feature stories and guides to coastal attractions, events, dining, shopping, arts and lodging. Annual subscriptions (3 issues) are only $15