Neahkahnie means “place of supreme deity” from the ancestral Tillamook language. Based on the view at the top of the mountain of Nehalem Bay and the Tillamook Forest in the coastal range, it’s easy to see why.
Chunks of beeswax and Chinese porcelain fragments from a 17th-century shipwreck on Nehalem Spit have enhanced Neahkahnie’s reputation as a treasure-hunting site is possibly the inspiration for The Goonies filmed near here.
There are three entrances to the trails that reach the 1680′ summit of Neahkahnie Mountain. Aptly named North Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Trail starts at Oswald West State Park’s southern end next to Highway 101. From 101 to the summit is 2.0 miles on the North Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Trail. The South Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Trail starts from 1/4 mile up Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Rd. from 101 and is 1.3 miles to the summit. A new trail connects the Oregon Coast Trail to the South Neah-Kah-Nie trail through the Neahkahnie Headwaters Preserve. The trail starts at the intersection of Nehalem Rd. and Hwy 101 and parallels the highway for 1.8 miles to Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Rd.
Whether starting from the North or South ends, running out and back is just over 10 miles of trail forests of Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, and Western Red Cedar. The flora is dominated by sword fern, salal, and other native shrubs.
Of course, the reward for reaching the summit is the view of the Nehalem River’s mouth as it enters the Pacific Ocean. The trail doesn’t actually reach the summit, but it’s easy to scale through some footpaths to climb the extra few feet to the top. Enjoy some time for the view on a sunny day before heading back down.