- Associated Press - Sunday, May 10, 2015

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) - The Fort Clatsop area of Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks covers 1.74 square miles, not large by national park standards but a critical forested area in the watery, urbanized and logged northwest corner of Oregon.

The park’s main recreation components are the Fort to Sea Trail, which covers 6.5 miles between Fort Clatsop inland and Sunset Beach on the Oregon coast, plus the Netul Picnic Area canoe launch on the Lewis and Clark River.

Another five miles of trail wanders through the forest and along the river near Fort Clatsop, which is a re-creation of a fort built and used by the Lewis and Clark expedition to spend the winter of 1805-06.

The Fort to Sea Trail winds past forests, coastal bogs, farms, an active military training center and crosses a mini-version of Portland’s Fremont Bridge before reaching Sunset Beach State Recreation Site. The crossing of U.S. 101 in via an underpass.

With one end on federal land and the other on state, and with other land holders in between, the trail is a metaphor for what makes the Lewis and Clark park unique, at least here in the Pacific Northwest, with the lead federal managing component (National Park Service) and four state sites in each Oregon and Washington.



The Fort to Sea Trail is a lovely hike one way, but a bit of a grind for most hikers both ways. Setting up a shuttle helps. Or you can take a taxi from Astoria to Fort Clatsop for about $20. The local bus service (ridethebus.org) runs close to the trail at Sunset Beach, but is a 40-minute walk from Fort Clatsop.

Fort Clatsop has an excellent non-motorized boat launch on the Lewis and Clark River, according to the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (estuarypartnership.org). Paddlers can head up river, or down river past Fort Clatsop, restoration sites, and toward Young’s Bay. It’s a generally protected paddle with a great deal of history associated with it. Good birding, too, but plan according to the tides.

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The original story can be found on The Oregonian’s website: https://bit.ly/1R75t2G

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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