History of Nahcotta 


Named for Chief Nahcati, the small community of Nahcotta (nuh-caught-uh) was the terminus for the Clamshell Railroad. The only railroad that ran with the tides, which carried passengers and shipments of oysters from Willapa Bay to steamers headed for San Francisco during the late 1800s.

At Nahcotta, the propeller steamers Shamrock and Reliable would meet the train at the end of the Nahcotta dock and pick up passengers bound for South Bend across Willapa Bay. In 1896, another steamer, the Edgar, joined the Willapa Bay run.

Razor clams were canned along the shore and the original canneries can still be seen.  Interpretive sites describe the history of this native shellfish as well as other fishing interests.


Port of Peninsula 


Nahcotta is home to a busy fishing port on scenic Willapa Bay with commercial fishing and shellfish operations. The port is also home to many local festivals like the Garlic Festival. There are plenty of picnic areas for enjoying views of the bay, Willapa Hills, Long Island, and local wildlife. 

Here are some of the amenities at the port: 

Public Boat Launch 

Small Boat Moorage 


Public Restrooms and Showers 


Willapa Bay Interpretive Center 


Study the history of the bay and its wildlife. The interpretive center showcases the history of oyster harvesters over nearly 150 years. Now, guests can view quotes from various farmers, historic photos, and supplies used for harvesting. 

Open Memorial Day thru Labor Day, Friday-Sunday, and holidays from 11am-4pm. 


Long Island 


The largest estuarine island on the Pacific Coast, Long Island is home to salt marshes, sandy beaches, muddy tidelands, and damp coastal forests. Full of diverse wildlife and numerous recreation activities, it is the perfect place for adventurers or serious explorers. For more information on camping, hiking, and maps click here! 

On the west side of the island, the habitat is perfect for young fish including Pacific herring and salmon. The east side is home to herons, shorebirds, and ducks. More than 300 species of birds make their home here on the Peninsula; the possibilities are endless for what you’ll see. 

Access to Long Island is by boat only. People can launch from the public ramp at Cutthroat Creek near milepost 24 on Highway 101. Check out tips for boating to Long Island here! 



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