In a wooded park and towering above Astoria, Oregon’s highest hill, the Astoria Column presents a spectacular view of the city and surrounding rivers, bay, forest, mountains and Pacific Ocean. The first words of most visitors are, “Oh, Wow!” The Astoria Column commemorates the westward sweep of discovery and migration. Built in 1926, it is 125 feet high and has 164 steps winding to the top.
Follow signs up 16th or 14th streets.
Hikes To Take
Fort to Sea Trail
The Fort To Sea Trail starts from the Visitor Center at Fort Clatsop. The first two miles take you up a gentle climb to the top of Clatsop Ridge, where on a clear day you can see through the trees to the Pacific Ocean. From there, you descend through deep woods and reach wooded pasture dotted with small lakes. The wooded pasture leads to the crossing tunnel under U.S. Highway 101 and near Camp Rilea. This stretch of the trail marks the beginning of sandy soil and gentle dunes and leads into beach woods before arriving at the Sunset Beach/Fort to Sea Trail parking lot. From there, travel the 1-mile path to the beach. Fort to Sea website
Follow in the footsteps of the Lewis & Clark Expedition on this six-mile hike across Tillamook Head between Seaside and Cannon Beach (Ecola State Park). They went for the whale blubber. You’ll enjoy the forest and periodic ocean views. (But don’t go on the edge of the cliffs. They’re dangerous.) Ecola State Park info
Cathedral Tree/Column Trail
From 28th and Irving in Astoria, Oregon, you can hike a forest trail that passes the lofty Cathedral Tree and emerges at the Astoria Column.
Astoria River Walk
The Waterfront Walkway is popular with residents and visitors, alike. Four miles of the paved pathway are in place, and it stretches beyond to Tongue Point as a more primitive trail. The Astoria Riverfront Trolley runs alongside 2 miles of the trail between the East and West End Marinas.
Warrenton River Walk
Start at the new Lighthouse Memorial near downtown Warrenton, Oregon or pick up trail at Carruthers Park on the road to Fort Stevens. This trail is expanding rapidly to circle all of Warrenton encompassing the Airport Dike Trail, Fort Stevens trails and the Fort to Sea trail. Check in with Warrenton Trails Association for more on the status of the trail and for scheduled, guided walks.
One of our favorite hikes is this 2+ mile path that circles the edge of Coffenbury Lake at Fort Stevens State Park.
A beautiful, woodsy urban park off Williamsport Road that dates back over a century. You’ll find the entrance arch from the old Weinhard Hotel, which was moved to the park after downtown Astoria burned down in 1922.
Saddle Mountain Trail
Three miles each way. Allow 3-4 hours for hiking plus time to enjoy the spectacular views at the top. Highest point is 3,283 feet. Usually open March to December. Drive to the trailhead at Saddle Mountain, the highest peak in the northern Coast Range, by taking Highway 26 to a clearly signed point 14 miles east of Seaside.
Saddle Mountain Recreation Area
Who hasn’t wanted to indulge a spirit of wanderlust and sail away to a foreign country or ride the Orient Express? In Astoria, Oregon, one of the Oregon coast’s deepwater ports, these romantic feelings for travel are heightened each time a ship glides by on the river. Visitors have a great view of the river traffic from a sheltered viewing deck at the end of 6th Street and from the dock at 17th Street, where two Coast Guard cutters, the Steadfast and the Alert, are stationed and river tour boats come to call.
The 14th Street ferry dock includes interpretive displays, describing the work of the Columbia Bar and river pilots and of the tug boats as you watch the vessels cruise by. In the past, the dangerous crossing of the Bar sunk more than 200 ships and over 2,000 vessels of all kinds, and the mouth of the Columbia was known as the graveyard of the Pacific. A radio speaker allows visitors to hear the live conversations of pilots and the Coast Guard as they go about their work on the river and out to sea. The shipping channel is very close to the Astoria shore, affording shipwatchers an extraordinary, close up view.