Lewis and Clark National Park is a place to discover the history of the area’s ancestral people, the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail, and how the Corps built Fort Clatsop. “Lewis and Clark National Park has a nice trail system that is not unlike Tillamook Forest,” says local trail runner and coach Cameron Francey. The park is just south of Astoria and a few miles east of Warrenton. There’s a range of well-maintained forest trails, including the Fort to Sea Trail.
Fort to Sea offers trails from Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach. These trails through woods and bogs are in the ancestral lands of the Clatsop tribe, who helped the Army Corps develop this area near Warrenton and Astoria. Cannon Beach trail runner and coach Cameron Francey’s route starts from the parking lot in Fort Clatsop on the Lewis and Clark River for a 14.75 mile, mostly flat out and back. There is one challenging hill over Clatsop Ridge that supplies half of the 1500′ of elevation for the run. The trail is mostly gravel mixed with dirt and sand, as well as some boardwalks over waterways. The trail crosses the Skipanon River, goes under HWY 101, through Astoria Country Club, and over Sunset & Neocoxie Lake before reaching a viewing deck of the Pacific Ocean.
The trail rambles through a short pine forest, dunes and grants views of Saddle Mountain. Several benches along the way to rest and admire the large cedar and Sitka spruce trees familiar to the coastal range.
The park has other trails in Fort Clatsop for an alternative run through the forest, including the 1.7-mile Kwis Kwis Trail to add extra mileage or create loops in the park.