Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Hike to the Astoria Column on the Cathedral Tree Trail

September 30th, 2017 by Clementines B&B

sgraffito frieze on Astoria Column with blue sky and clouds in backgroundFall is a beautiful season for hiking in the Pacific Northwest, and Astoria offers the perfect combination of a short hike to enjoy our urban forest and a visit to the Astoria Column – hiking the Cathedral Tree Trail to one of Astoria’s most famous landmarks and its spectacular views. Of course, you can drive up Coxcomb Hill to the parking area for the Column, but the soft surface footpath offers the additional reward of a moderately easy 1.6 mile loop through Sitka spruce, western hemlock and alder to reach the Column. As you ascend through the woods, you will see interpretive signs explaining both the history of Lewis and Clark and native plants. The Cathedral Tree, for which the trail is named, is a 200 foot high Sitka spruce over 300 years old.

The Astoria Column is modeled after Trajan’s Column in Rome (A.D. 106). It’s sgraffito frieze celebrates three historic events at the mouth of the Columbia River: Captain Robert Gray’s explorations, the Lewis and Clark Expedition; and the arrival of the ship Tonquin to establish an outpost of the Pacific Fur Company. Scenes depicting these events spiral 125 feet from the base of the Column to just beneath its viewing platform.

view of Astoria, Astoria-Megler Bridge, Columbia River, WA state in distanceA narrow 166-step spiral staircase leads you up to the viewing platform. Your rewards are views of Astoria, the Astoria-Megler Bridge spanning the Columbia River, Young’s Bay and Young’s River, and the Coast Range beyond Saddle Mountain to the south and beyond Cape Disappointment to the north. In the distance, you may see the Pacific, and on a clear day, even Mount Olympus.

Descend from the Column to see a replica of Chief Coboway’s burial canoe on the Column grounds. The memorial honors the leader of the Clatsops, who was given Fort Clatsop as a parting gift by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1806.

You’ll find the Cathedral Tree Trailhead (and several parking spaces) at Irving Avenue and 28th Street, about a mile and a half from Clementine’s Bed & Breakfast. Note that the trail is steep in some places, and may be muddy in wet weather, so footwear with good grip is advised. Detailed information about the trail is available on OregonHikers.org and Alltrails.com. The Column is among the most visited parks in the state of Oregon, so be sure to add it to your bucket list for Astoria, and reserve your stay at our bed and breakfast.

Photos courtesy of Astoria Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce

Summer Wildflower Hike: Saddle Mountain Natural Area

June 16th, 2017 by Clementines B&B

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum’s current exhibit, Oregon’s Botanical Landscape, inspires hikes in places like Saddle Mountain State Natural Area, where wildflowers peak from late June until mid-July. AllTrails ranks the hike # 4 of 106 hikes in Oregon. They say:
“Be prepared to marvel at the sheer volume of natural beauty packed onto the mountain, from a mature forest setting to fields of wildflowers to an open rocky summit. The view from the top of the mountain is one that cannot be described … it must be experienced.”

wildflowers by Stephanie Krist https://unsplash.com/@srpphotoAllTrails rates the hike to the summit as moderate difficulty with some steep grades, recommended for experienced hikers. One a clear day, the 360 degree views from the highest point in Clatsop County include Astoria, ship traffic as it approaches and enters the Columbia River, miles of Pacific shoreline, the Coast Range to the south, as well as views of Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, Mt Baker and Mt Hood. Visit the AllTrails website for hiking information and maps. Paul Gerald’s blog also has detailed information.

If an easier hike is your style, follow the main trail for just a quarter mile from the trailhead and take the short Humbug Mountain viewpoint trail.  While you won’t have the panoramic views from the summit, this trail offers the only real view of Saddle Mountain while in the park.

Although you can see Saddle Mountain in the distance from the Astoria Column, the Oregon State Park is about three-quarters of an hour drive from Clementine’s Bed & Breakfast – but worth the drive! Wildflowers reach their peak during the next month, so don’t wait to book your B&B getaway. We’ll fortify you with a bountiful breakfast to begin your day, and relaxation in our flower-filled garden will await your return from the day’s adventures.

Saddle Mountain State Natural Area
The 2.5 mile trail to the 3,283-foot summit climbs 1,650 feet from the parking area.
Fees: None for hiking.
Facilities: Restrooms and picnic sites at the trailhead.
Suggestions from other hikers to make the hike more enjoyable: start early in the morning to avoid midday heat, check the weather which may be different from Astoria, layer your clothing (temperatures are different at the trailhead and summit), wear good hiking shoes with ankle support, consider hiking poles or a walking stick, bring a picnic lunch to enjoy, 1-2 liters of water per person, a camera for photographing wildflowers, and a good pair of binoculars to enhance views from the summit.

Fort Clatsop Fort to Sea Trail- Great Hike near Astoria

April 20th, 2017 by Clementines B&B

Drawing showing two hikers surrounded by tall evergreens walking away on trailNational Park Week – April 15 to 23, 2017 – is the time to highlight some great hiking trails in the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park to enjoy during your vacation in Astoria. The Fort to Sea Trail and its associated trails are great choices for nature lovers and history buffs alike.  The Trail winds through the Oregon landscape where Clatsop Indians once lived, and Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery explored and documented during their expedition in 1805-1806.

Beginning at the Visitor Center at Fort Clatsop, you’ll hike 6.5 miles through forest, pastures, and dunes to Sunset Beach on the Pacific coast. The first two miles bring you to the top of Clatsop Ridge, and your first view of the Pacific. From there, the trail leads through woods and pastures, then gentle dunes and beach woods to reach the beach. If you’re looking for wildlife, you might see deer, elk, beaver, bear or eagles along the way. Returning to Fort Clatsop on the Trail will make the total length of your hike 13 miles; alternatively, arrange for a cab or other transportation to meet you at Sunset Beach. To hike the trail from the ocean to the Fort, begin at the Sunset Beach/Fort to Sea Trailhead on Sunset Beach Lane, Warrenton, Oregon. For details about this moderate difficulty hike, visit the AllTrails website.

You have lots of options for shorter hikes along parts the Trail as well: From the Fort’s Visitor Center trailhead, a short ½ mile loop is great for families with small children or just some exercise. From the Fort’s Visitor Center to Clatsop Ridge and back is about 4 miles. For a shorter roundtrip hike, take the portion of the Trail from the Fort’s Visitor Center to Clatsop Ridge, then back to the Visitor Center. At the Sunset Beach, a 1-mile trail leads from the Sunset Beach/Fort to the Sea Parking area down to Sunset Beach and back.

Oregon’s spring weather is great for hiking, with daytime highs in the 60s, so make plans to follow in  the Corps of Discovery’s footsteps and explore the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park . Book your stay at Clementine’s Bed & Breakfast – you’ll start your hiking day with a delicious gourmet breakfast, and all the comforts of the inn will await your return at the end of the day.

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
92343 Fort Clatsop Road Astoria, OR 97103
Phone: 503-861-2471
Fort to Sea Trailhead and Surrounding Trails are open daylight hours all year.
Entrance Fee (ages 16+) $5.00 per person
Image courtesy of National Park Service

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