The Cape Falcon Trail in northwestern Oregon is an excellent trail to experience the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest. (To get there, park near the driveway off the Oregon Coast Highway, where there are restrooms and signs.)
Surfers and families head in the same direction as you when you find the path and start hiking. Fog obstructs your view of the scene, but you hope it’s cleared up by the time you reach the lookout area, which comes after climbing more than 500 feet along the coast.
As you approach Short Sand Beach, the trail branches off to the right, which leads you up a very steep hill. It travels 5.2 miles back and forth over the beach and ascends to Cape Falcon Lookout, where you can watch the waves crash into the jutting rocks. The exposed tree roots add a challenge along the way, and the mud is a guarantee after the rains.
To extend your trip in Oswald’s West State Park, continue north along the bluff to the Cape Trail Arch. This road eventually connects to the Oregon Coast Trail, which runs for 362 miles along the state’s coast.
Get ready and get out of there
When the winter weather sets in, it’s easy to think your window to outdoor adventure is closed. But with a little planning — and the right equipment — you can enjoy stunning scenery, enjoy less crowded trails, and stay warm and dry even when conditions turn cold, snowy or damp. The trails above are just a sample – there are all kinds of great places to discover this season.
Winter awaits. Are you ready to explore all it has to offer?
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