If you and your buddy are looking for a good, long hike with splendid and diverse scenery, you’d be barking mad not to check out the Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail! The gorgeous loop runs along rugged coastline and majestic Pacific Northwest forest for twelve miles from the charming Oregon town of Seaside. Though the route is quite well-known, the sheer length of the trail and the great number of hiking options in the area mean that you may be able to complete the whole loop and only see one or two other souls, so the hike is ideal for those seeking solitude. As an added bonus, there’s plenty of parking at the Seaside trailhead.
Peaceful walks through woods and wildflowers are all well and good, but some folks and fur-balls like their nature a little more dramatic. If you count yourself among them, the Tillamook Head Hike is the pawfect one for you! The temperate coniferous rainforest, though full of lush beauty and the smell of ferns and hemlock, definitely looks less like Disney and more like Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Every mile or so, the forest clears to reveal breathtaking views of the roaring waves as they crash against the rocks. An island off the headland itself is home to an abandoned lighthouse that was once called "Terrible Tilly" -- sea conditions in the area were and remain hazardous to fishing boats and other small craft. Bring a camera if you like, but these surroundings are definitely designed to be experienced rather than photographed.
Athletic animals should have no trouble on this trail -- there are quite a few elevation gains, but the inclines are simply a little steep rather than truly punishing. Still, Tillamook Head isn’t really suitable for older furry friends that can’t quite move like they used to. You’ll find restrooms for humans every couple of miles, but you’ll need to bring waste bags and water for your canine companion. It takes around eight hours to complete the trail, so you might also want to take a picnic lunch. Be careful -- the trail can get quite muddy, and rolling fog is a concern in the colder months.