1 month ago

I’m a trail runner from the Pacific Northwest, so I have seen just about every environment Oregon has to offer. If you start out at Fort Clatsop (respect to my brother Comcomly), you will see fairly typical, newish, temperate rain forest. Although, there is no old growth here, it appears there is an effort to return it to its former self. I was a bit disappointed in the double track trail which gave me the feeling I would run into motorcycles or four-wheelers, but after gaining an easy incline run to the Clatsop Ridge Viewpoint, I moved beyond this “old” road to familiar switchbacks of many trails I’ve been on since a child. Though, because of the gravel, this trail between Hwy. 101 and Clatsop Ridge Viewpoint reminded of Forest Park in Portland. So, if you want an easy traverse, without mud and slipping, hike to 101 and return back.
If you want to go beyond 101, I have some criticisms. The trail disappears and you find yourself between fences, for a couple of miles, between cow pastures and vacation homes. Some of the fields between the homes and farms looked decimated. I was sorely disappointed and if they intend to “share” space, some effort needs to be put into this stretch from 101 to the sea. If you have a fear of larger domestic animals, such as cows, you may want to skip this stretch, as at times, when you travel between properties, you must maneuver through animal gates that put you in the same field as the cows.
To be honest, if I were you, I would see the ocean on a different day and hike the forest part of this trail separately If you want to do this trail, hike the fort to sea trail all the way down near 101, turn around and take the alternative route called Kwis Kwis trail back. You will have more options, more forest, and a nice hike.