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Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

The 8.5 mile mostly paved hiking and biking Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail is located on SW Washington’s 28 mile Long Beach Peninsula. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Park Discovery Trail traverses beaches, grassy dunes, transitional wetlands and forest groves. The trail also offers a collection of public art and artifacts from the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. The trail offers easy access points, and is ADA accessible for most of its length.

photo: Signature Image

Length: 8.50 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Greenway
Agency: City, Town, or County
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? $10.00

Allowed Uses:

Bicycling (on pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Heritage and History
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Swimming
Wildlife Observation

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Location: Long Beach Peninsula along the Washington coast. The Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail features 8.5 miles of coastal beauty on the Long Beach Peninsula in SW Washington that spans between the North end of Long Beach, through unincorporated Seaview, Ilwaco a
State(s): Washington
Counties: Pacific County
Longitude: -124.0637
Latitude: 46.3044

Driving Directions

Traihead at Cape Disappointment is in Ilwaco. Cape Disappointment is two miles south of Ilwaco. From Kelso, take Ocean Beach Highway to the tiny town of Naselle. Here, make a left onto SR 401, driving for 12 miles to a junction of Highway 101, where a left turn would take you over the Astoria Bridge. Drive straight through this intersection, continuing on Hwy 101 for 11 miles to the city of Ilwaco and the junction of SR 100.

From Portland: Follow Highway 30 to Astoria, then get on Highway 101 north across the river and on to Ilwaco. Once you get to Ilwaco head west from the stoplight (only one in town) following the signs to Cape Disappointment State Park.

Follow 100 spur through the park to where the road begins climbing steeply. A right-hand turn here puts you in the Beard's Hollow parking area. Discover Pass required.

Description

Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

This paved, 8.5-mile trail is ideal for families with its benches, restrooms, water, ocean views, and enough turns and dips to make it fun and accessible for all ages. The Discovery Trail features hiking and biking coastal beauty through many easy access points, and is ADA accessible for most of its length. The trail is named after the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. Their journey ended on the Long Beach Peninsula, and there are several bronze sculptures along the path that commemorate the expedition. The Long Beach Peninsula recreation area offers lodging, camping, restaurants and many family activities and excursions.

Lewis & Clark Discovery Trail The Lewis & Clark Discovery Trail runs for 8.5 miles from Ilwaco, through Cape Disappointment State Park to North Long Beach. It is a mostly paved, multi-use trail dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle use. Its southern trailhead begins at the Port of Ilwaco. The Port waterfront area offers free parking, public restrooms and covered picnic area. The trail follows an easement through private property and then enters Cape Disappointment State Park There is parking and interpretive signage and map at the scenic overlook. west of North Head Lighthouse, the trail then drops down to Beards Hollow, with additional parking and a bathroom. The trail goes down to the beach and runs north along the shore through the beach dunes. There are several access points, parking areas and public restrooms along the trail through Seaview and Long Beach. Management is shared between State Parks and the cities of Ilwaco and Long Beach. One section in Cape Disappointment State Park between the Overlook and Beard Hollow is very steep and therefore has not been paved. Most of the trail is ADA accessible. Visitors can learn about the expedition of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery at the park's Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Alternately, take the North fork along the beach, through Seaview and Long Beach, at one point paralleling the city's extensive wooden boardwalk from Bolstad Ave.to Sid Snyder Drive, and terminating at a bronze sculpture: Clark's Tree, a sculpture in memory of Clark’s northernmost trek on the beach.

National Significance Dedicated in 2004, the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks, near the mouth of the Columbia River, commemorate the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The parks includes areas of historic significance on the Long Beach Peninsula, adjacent to the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail. The trail is located on SW Washington’s 28 mile Long Beach Peninsula recreation destination. Bound by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Columbia River to the south, and Willapa Bay to the east, the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail crosses several distinct ecosystems and is adjacent to Cape Disappointment State Park, the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, and the longest continuous truss bridge in North America; the breathtaking Astoria Megler Bridge spanning the 4.1 mile mouth of the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon.
The Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail is one of the most scenic in the Pacific Northwest with outstanding views of the ocean, grassy dunes, transitional wetlands and forest groves. The trail also offers a collection of impressive public art and artifacts from the Lewis and Clark Expedition that add to the trail's natural beauty. Whale-watching and bird-watching are two very popular pastimes on the Peninsula. Hikers and bikers may see deer, bald eagles, shorebirds and other wildlife on the trail. 45,000 acres of Willapa Bay and Long Beach Peninsula have been designated as a Site of International Importance by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WSHRN). The Long Beach Peninsula provides beach and dune habitats, and supports up to 50,000 shorebirds that forage or roost on the peninsula’s outer beach. The Pacific County Tourism Bureau, located at the Seaview Trailhead (mile 3.6), provides visitor information on migratory patterns and viewing locations.
Cape Disappointment State Park Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly Fort Canby State Park) is a 1,882-acre park, on the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. It is owned and managed by Washington State Parks & Recreation. It is part of a collection of sites that make up the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks. The park offers four miles of ocean beach, three miles of Columbia River frontage, two lighthouses, the Lewis and Clark interpretive center and museum, 6.5 miles hiking and bicycling trails, and camping. A portion of the Discovery Trail runs through the park. State park parking is plentiful with disabled parking at most sites.
The Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail represents a successful collaboration between Washington State Parks, Pacific County, the Cities of Ilwaco and Long Beach and the community. As the trail is extended, it will create a unique link between the ocean shore and the Wlillapa Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Additional Details

Width: 60 inches.
Primary Surface: Asphalt
Secondary Surface: Boardwalk
Crushed Rock

Average Grade: 1%
Maximum Grade: 9%
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: 257
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
2020

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Brochure: 1 sheet for print collateral
Brochure: Outdoor Project Description
Brochure: Angora Hiking Club Description
Map: Cape Disappointment State Park Map
Map: Map with elevations
Website: Washington Trails Association
Website: Discovery Trail Virtual Tour
Website: Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau
Website: Outdoors Northwest
Website: Oregon Live- Video
Website: National Park Service
Website: Pre-trail images
Website: Discovery Trail

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
David Glasson
City Administrator
City of Long Beach
PO Box 310
Long Beach, WA 98631
360-642-4421
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Andi Day
Executive Director
Pacific County Tourism Bureau
Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau
PO Box 562
Seaview, WA 98644
360-642-2400
[email protected]

 

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