LONG BEACH PENINSULA, Wash. — Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula boasts 28 miles of public beach and a system of hiking trails that cut through forest and wetlands.
For spring hiking options, consider:
• The Coastal Forest Loop, a 1.5-mile round-trip that features ancient Sitka spruce, views of the Columbia River, and fauna and flora, such as newts, frogs, bald eagles, owls, foxes, otters, huckleberries, mushrooms and flowers.
Trail access is near Serious Pizza and the park office at the entrance to Ilwaco’s Cape Disappointment State Park. A Discovery Pass is required for cars. Dogs on leashes are permitted.
• The Bay Loop, a 1.1-mile trail that offers birding sites, scrub pine forest, marsh grass fields and flat terrain. A Discover Pass is required for parking at Leadbetter Point State Park.
• Three trails at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge headquarters: the quarter-mile Art Trail, consisting mostly of boardwalk; Cut-Throat Climb, a fern-laden loop three-quarters of a mile; and Teal Slough, a trail one-third of a mile with Western red cedar and Sitka spruce trees.
The refuge headquarters is near milepost 24 on Washington State Route 101. Teal Slough is 1.6 miles northeast.
• Discovery Trail, an 8.5-mile coastal path stretching from Ilwaco to Beard’s Hollow wetlands, through grassy dunes to a mile north of Long Beach, with a forested spur to North Head Lighthouse. The entire trail is paved except for a short section on the west side of the Cape Disappointment headlands.
Access points with free parking are at the Port of Ilwaco, Beard’s Hollow, the Seaview and both Long Beach beach approaches, as well as the south end of the Breakers Resort. In Long Beach, the trail parallels a one-half-mile wooden boardwalk. Cyclists share the trail, and dogs on leashes are permitted.