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Trip Report: Cape Falcon Trail - Hiking the Oregon Coast
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Trip Report: Cape Falcon Trail - Hiking the Oregon Coast

Trip Report: Cape Falcon Trail - Hiking the Oregon Coast

When: 03/26/2019
Location: Cape Falcon Trail
Conditions: Clear and sunny, 55-60 degrees. Very muddy in some sections.
Duration: 4.6ish miles out and back
Difficulty: Easy
Kid Friendly: Yes
Pet Friendly: Yes
Usefull links: alltrails.com | weather.com

Cape Falcon Trail

The Full Report:
Cape Falcon is a beautiful, moderately accessible hike that offers lush greenery, stunning views, and a diverse landscape. The trail is part of Oswald West State Park, which offers other similarly spectacular hikes of varying difficulty. Inspired by unexpected sunshine in Rockaway, some friends and I decided to try it out.

Cape Falcon Trail

The first section of the trail takes you away from the highway and through the trees. There's a split early on that you can take to Short Sands beach if you'd like, but we chose not to. The first portion of the hike was extremely muddy this time of year (late March). We managed somehow, despite having wholly inadequate footwear, to evade getting stuck but there were definitely some very wet, slippery sections. A friend said that he had never experienced so much mud on this specific trail before, so it is probably drier closer to summertime. This part of the hike was very verdant--tons of skunk cabbages poking out, with trillium nestled on the edges of the path. One accessibility related obstacle was a very large fallen tree that we climbed over, to varying degrees of success (see ripped pants). Other than that, the hike is pretty low grade despite taking you up in elevation; it is well paced, and you do not notice the steepness too much.

Cape Falcon Trail

The middle section of the trail gives little hints as to what the grand finale will be. Peeking through the trees, you can see glimpses of the ocean and down to Short Sands. Throughout the hike, you can hear the ocean very clearly and there are a couple of different bridged creek crossings. A bit past the fallen tree, there is a small loop that takes you momentarily off trail to view a waterfall that descends from the creek down towards the beach. Apparently, you can also hike down to the base of the waterfall, but we did not have time because we found the waterfall on our way back.

Cape Falcon Trail

As you reach the end, the scenery changes a bit as you emerge from the coastal forest into a more shrub-capped trail. We saw two snakes basking in the sun, weaving in and out of the shrubs. Eventually, you come to a central point with views on either side, including Neahkahnie Mountain and the beaches below. To the North, we were able to see whales breaching in the distance. There is a trail that takes you farther down to a lookout point where you truly have the most incredible view. It is a little steep, and it feels "like you are walking off the edge of the world" as one of my friends put it, but it is manageable and worth it!! Overall, the perfect spontaneous day hike.

Cape Falcon Trail

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