Hiking the Long Beach Peninsula

May 30, 2018 | Recreation, State Parks

Cape Disappointment State Park | Discover Pass Required

  • Dogs allowed on leash.
  • Campgrounds available.
  • Historic structures and sites, lighthouses, art installments, and scenic viewpoints.

Cape Disappointment State Park sits at the mouth of the Columbia River on the southern tip of the Long Beach Peninsula. Old growth forests, two working lighthouses, and the remains of Fort Canby are just a few things to discover at this popular state park. There are 8 miles of hiking trails to explore, so plan on spending some time here to enjoy this park to its fullest. View the park map here or take a virtual tour.

Leadbetter Point State Park | Discover Pass Required

  • Day use only.
  • Discover Pass not available at the park. Plan ahead. The closest location to pick up a pass is Jack’s Country Store in Ocean Park.
  • No dogs allowed in this park; it is a protected area.
  • Seasonal closures for Snowy Plovers, Mar. 15 – Sept. 15. Look for signs.
  • Winter flooding may make trails impassable or extremely muddy late October through April.

Leadbetter Point State Park sits on the northern tip of the Long Beach Peninsula and overlaps the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. There are five trails that take hikers past the tranquil Willapa Bay, through the mossy woods, and to the beach. The trails intersect, and it is possible to make one giant loop through the park to see a little bit of everything. View the park map here.

Fort Columbia Historical State Park | Discover Pass Required

  • Day use only unless staying at one of the historic vacation rentals.
  • Dogs allowed on leash.
  • Historic structures and scenic views.

Fort Columbia State Park is located just outside of Chinook on Highway 101. Visitors can enjoy an exciting stroll through the park where they can check out old military structures. There are hiking trails that wind up Scarborough Hill behind the officer quarters. These are steep and far less trafficked than other trails in the area. Maps are available at the Visitors Bureau.

Discovery Trail Highlights (8.5 miles)

  • Dogs allowed on leash.
  • Interpretive and art installments.

The Discovery Trail a hiking, biking, and walking trail running from the Port of Ilwaco to just behind the Breakers Hotel in Long Beach. With multiple access points, it is possible to enjoy portions of the trail without committing to the full 8.5 miles. Art and interpretive installments can be found along the way as well as a variety of unique habitats. Take the virtual tour and learn more about this incredible trail. Map available here.

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

  • Dogs are not allowed.
  • Discover Pass required in Leadbetter Unit.
  • Interpretive and art installments.
  • Seasonal closures for Snowy Plovers in Leadbetter Unit in certain areas, Mar. 15 – Sept. 15. Look for signs.

At the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, wildlife comes first. There are several trails that take you into the old growth forests and unique habitats that the refuge encompasses. For an easy stroll, check out the Willapa Art Trail located next to the refuge complex off Highway 101. Salmon fly through the trees, birds spring up from the grasses, and frogs hop along the path. It’s great for any age or skill level! Find more trails here.

Black Lake Trail Highlights

  • Dogs allowed on leash.

Find Black Lake in Ilwaco. This is a favorite spot for trout fishing, but there are also several trails in the woods around the lake, including a mountain biking trail. These are great trails for family outings and often quieter than the more trafficked trails at the state parks. Maps available at the Visitors Bureau.

Willapa Hills Trail

  • Dogs allowed on leash.

The Willapa Hills Trail is one of Washington’s “rail trails” and is still being developed. This long distance trail follows the route of a historic railway as it winds through the Willapa Hills and crosses restored bridges. The 5 miles between South Bend and Raymond run along the Willapa River, perfect for a shorter excursion.

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