The Oregon Coast stretches for more than 300 miles from Astoria to Brookings. Rugged beaches with pounding surf are backed up by cliffs and rainforested mountains. It’s not a heavily developed area, as most of the coastline is preserved beaches, state parks, or nature preserves. Our guide to running on the Oregon Coast is focused on the more visited areas just west of Portland, from Long Beach to Cape Lookout. This area features some of the best beach running anywhere, with that firm, packed sand beloved by runners.
From north to south, we start on the Long Beach Peninsula (technically in Washington), which features six state parks and the 7-mile Discovery multi-use trail. In the popular town of Seaside, there’s a scenic boardwalk and a 2-mile beach. Cannon Beach is just south of there, and features good beach running and some great trail running in Ecola State Park. In the Nehalem Bay area, we love running the 5-mile beach and the bike trail in Nehalem Bay State Park. Some of the best waterside running NOT on the beach or Highway 101 is in the Bayocean Peninsula area around Tillamook Bay. In Cape Lookout State Park, there’s a fantastic beach run to the end of Netarts Bay, and a scenic trail run to Cape Lookout. These are just the running highlights. There are numerous additional beaches that are great for running, and just inland in the mountain/rain forest areas, hundreds of miles of small, hilly unnamed roads making for countless trail running opportunities and hill challenges.
Note that State Highway 101 hugs most of the coastline. It is a busy road, but in many spots there’s a decent shoulder. We’ve pointed out some of the more scenic, ‘runnable’ sections. Also, outside the summer months, the weather along the Oregon Coast can be cool, windy, and rainy. Be prepared!