June is upon us! The weather is getting warm and the daylight hours are at their longest, giving us plenty of time to celebrate not only the grads of the region but also the dads in our lives. Most Father’s Day activities tend to revolve around having a BBQ, going to a ballgame or something else in the same vein, but this year we are hoping to inspire and encourage families to head out into the great outdoors around Clatsop County. Throughout the region, we are surrounded by wilderness beauty of all types, giving the perfect adventure to dads who are nature enthusiasts. Whether you are looking for an epic view of the Columbia River, a quiet night camping in the woods near the stunning coastal beaches or discovering a memorable bike or paddle adventure along the scenic waterways of the area, the perfect Father’s Day trip is just around the corner.
Like the entire Pacific Northwest, Clatsop County has no shortage of incredible hiking destinations that are family-friendly and perfect for Father’s Day. While you can’t go wrong hiking along the bluffs at Ecola State Park or along the coast to the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale, we highly suggest branching out and exploring someplace new. Often overlooked, the Lee Wooden/Fishhawk Falls Park is a perfect place for a picnic, a stroll and a chance to explore waterfalls. If you’d rather trek a bit farther, consider the 3.2-mile loop trail to Soapstone Lake. This trail is also scenic, a great place to spend an afternoon and usually overlooked, giving your family some solitude in the beauty around the forests of Clatsop.
Camping along the rugged and wild coast of the Pacific Northwest is like a rite-of-passage for those who enjoy the great outdoors and is the perfect way to spend Father’s Day weekend. While there are a handful of places to camp locally and dozens along the coast, two local places are perfect for families. The first is the iconic and classic Fort Stevens State Park. Highlighted by a scenic shipwreck, which might be the most photographed remains of a boat in the world, Fort Stevens is a perfect place to be introduced to camping. Located along both the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, accessed by 9+ miles of hiking trails, staying here is iconic, wonderful and perfect for all ages. If you’d rather camp down near Cannon Beachhead to Wright’s for Camping. This quirky and quaint campground is perfect for those looking to sleep in a tent within walking distance of Haystack Rock and a short drive from the trails at Ecola State Park. With just 21 spacious sites, as well as fire rings, showers, laundry, this seasonal camping destination is sure to become a family favorite.
Dive or Go Kayaking
We are nearly surrounded by water in Clatsop County, so Father’s Day is a great time to get out, or under it. One of the best ways to see the waterways that make out region so awesome is with Kaady’s Kayaks. Offering custom adventures on the river or lake of your choice, this great service is sure to be fun for the whole family. Relaxing, scenic and family-friendly, this is the way to go for a great day paddling. If you’d rather stick to Astoria, you can’t go wrong with an adventure from Astoria Scuba and Adventure Sports. Located on the Columbia, you can rent kayaks and SUPs to explore, fish from or just take in a new view of town. If that isn’t enough, you can also dive underwater with trained experts who will show you the ropes and get you trained for dives into the underwater wonderland of the Pacific Northwest.
If the weather is less than ideal on Father’s Day, you can still walk and explore the incredible history of the region without getting too soaked. Clatsop County has a few awesome places to explore, giving the history or military buff in your family a chance to see the important role the region played in both. For those who haven’t yet been, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is an incredible destination to learn about both the shipping history of Clatsop County and celebrate the fantastic work the Coast Guard has done along the mouth of the Columbia for decades. Full of great displays, tons of historical information and family-friendly exhibits, this is a can’t miss for all locals and visitors to Astoria. For a bit of history, consider heading out to the always fun Fort Clatsop and exploring the grounds of Lewis and Clark’s winter home. In 1805, Lewis and Clark stayed at this location, enduring rain, wind and rotting clothes. With a museum to wander, as well as numerous trails and a replica fort to explore, you’ll have a full afternoon retracing the steps of Lewis and Clark.