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Elk Run Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 4.0 (1)

A beautiful loop to run along the estuary and through the forest with gorgeous views across Nehalem Bay.


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Map Key

2.4

Miles

3.8

KM

100%

Runnable

29' 9 m

High

9' 3 m

Low

59' 18 m

Up

55' 17 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

6%

Max Grade (3°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek

Need to Know

No restrooms available, parking is limited to the roadside.

Runner Notes

Footing on this trail is uncertain, usually muddy, and requires balancing on makeshift log bridges.

Description

This trail begins at an intersection with Alder Creek Trail as part of the Lower Nehalem Community Trust. Park on Tohl Rd and take Alder Creek Trail across the bridge. On the other side of the bridge, Elk Run Trail branches off to the right and heads towards the estuary. This part of the trail is muddy, narrow, and has a few improvised log bridges over wet and muddy areas.

Pick your way along the creek and keep on the lookout for wildlife, as the Alder Creek Nature Preserve is nearby. Follow the narrow track towards the estuary and soon you'll break out into the open. The trail here can be a bit hard to spot as you pick your way through driftwood logs. Soon, however, the trail leads up onto an old dike and you run slightly above the mud through a narrow corridor of short trees.

The estuary stretches off to the south and Nehalem Bay is wide and open here. The views are amazing, you may spot shore birds, eagles, or hawks. This dike soon hits an old, grassy road that heads east around the peninsula. Blackberry bushes are prominent at the side of the road, ripe in August.

Head right at the split in the road and take a short run back out into the open estuary before hitting another old road and following it around to the Nehalem River. The trail ends here with a wide spot, a bench, and a nice area for a picnic at the rivers edge. You may see kayaks or other boaters traveling the Nehalem River.

Turn around and head back the way you came, but stick right at the fork to follow the old road around the bottom of the hill. You'll shortly rejoin the road you were on previously. Stay right at the fork and this trail will head north and come out on the old utility road. Turn left and run downhill towards the utility station at the end of Alder Creek Trail. This will allow you to follow Alder Creek Trail back to where you parked, making a 3.5 mile loop.

Flora & Fauna

Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, red alder, Himalayan blackberry.

Shared By:

Samantha Goodwin

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Manzanita

#18804

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Manzanita

#602

in Oregon

#18,804

Overall
5 Views Last Month
9 Since Sep 10, 2020
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

A narrow trail leads into a wetland area and weaves through driftwood logs.
Sep 10, 2020 near Rockawa…, OR
A rocky, grassy beach on the Nehalem River viewed through a screen of branches.
Sep 10, 2020 near Rockawa…, OR
A grassy two-track leads straight down an avenue shaded by alders.
Sep 10, 2020 near Rockawa…, OR
An old road shaded by alders with a short, utility building ahead.
Sep 10, 2020 near Rockawa…, OR
A narrow trail weaves between stumps and trees with tall bushes on both sides.
Sep 10, 2020 near Rockawa…, OR
Wooden trail signs point down a shaded, rooty trail under sitka spruce trees.
Sep 10, 2020 near Rockawa…, OR

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