Not all hiking outings have to be heart-pumping uphill treks that go on for miles; a casual stroll through nature can be equally satisfying. Luckily, Newport has many easy hikes accessible for all ages and abilities. These hikes are ideal for folks whose hiking pace doesn’t get much faster than a slow meander and who like to spend more time studying their surroundings than racing up a hill. If this sounds like you, keep reading and try one of the hikes listed below on your next trip to Newport.
Each hike offers a little something different in terms of natural scenery, but all have level ground, little elevation increase, and are even manageable for people with minor mobility issues.
Mike Miller Educational Trail
This 1.2-mile hike is located in South Beach. The trail will lead you through a unique forest full of Sitka spruce, western hemlock, Douglas-fir, grand fir, rhododendron, evergreen huckleberry, salal, and wax-myrtle thicket. Take advantage of the numerous benches along the path to sit and absorb the sights, sounds, and scents of this beautiful habitat. You might even catch sight of migrating newts or a nest of ospreys. The hike will loop you around and should take approximately 45 minutes; however, this does not account for any time taken to study and observe your surroundings
South Jetty Trail
Conveniently located in South Beach State Park, this two-mile paved trail offers visitors an easy, navigable walk through shore pines and beach dunes. The trailhead is located on the northwest end of the state park’s beach access parking lot. With no stops, this trek takes approximately 35 minutes to complete. It’s an out-and-back trail; after about a mile you’ll reach the other end where you can take in stunning views of the Yaquina Bay Bridge and South Jetty. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, there are numerous dirt and sand side-trails that lead you deeper into the forest or to dunes overlooking the beach.
Yaquina Bay Estuary Trail
This flat, paved trail is located near Hatfield Marine Science Center. Enjoy sweeping views of the estuary along this one-mile out-and-back hike. This is an excellent trek for bird-watching; catch glimpses of eagles, herons, falcons, and many others either perched in the trees or searching for prey. There are also numerous interpretive signs along the path providing education on the surrounding flora and fauna. If you’re looking for a quick, quiet, and secluded escape into nature, this is the trail for you.