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Elk Run Loop

Easy/Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An easy run on shady old roads that takes you out into the gorgeous Nehalem Bay estuary with wide views of the bay.


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Map Key

3.4

Miles

5.5

KM

100%

Runnable

26' 8 m

High

9' 3 m

Low

49' 15 m

Up

50' 15 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (0°)

5%

Max Grade (3°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views

Overview

This route gives you wonderful views of Nehalem Bay, the estuary, the Nehalem River and the Alder Creek Nature Preserve, with half of the distance running on wide, level, shaded old roads. It's a great loop to run with your dog and a favorite of locals.

Need to Know

No restrooms are available at the trailhead or along the trail.

Runner Notes

The old road is wide, smooth, and flat. The part of the trail that heads out into the estuary is narrow, muddy, and has frequent obstacles including driftwood logs, small creeks, etc.

Description

Park at Tohl Rd and take the old road, now Alder Creek Trail, across the bridge over the creek, then turn right onto Elk Run Trail. Step carefully on this narrow track, climbing over logs and running on makeshift log bridges over muddy spots and creeks, until the trail breaks out into the open. Follow Elk Run Trail south and east along the estuary, enjoying the beautiful views of the expansive bay and surrounding mountains. Several benches along the trail will let you sit and take in the view, maybe do some bird-watching.

The trail joins back up with the old road, shaded with trees along the base of the hill, then shortly heads back out to the estuary again. Head south and then east to join up with the old road. Take a right and shortly you'll reach a wide area, bench, and beach on the Nehalem River where kayaks sometimes pull up. This is the turnaround point and the "end" of the trail. Enjoy ripe blackberries in August as you head back the way you came on the old road.

This time, stay right at the fork and follow the old road along the hill. Stay right again where the trail turns to head back out into the estuary, and follow the old road until you reach the closed utility road. Take a left and follow the road towards the small utility building. This will lead you to the end of Alder Creek Trail, which you can follow back to the parking area. It's a straight shot along the old road and across the bridge back to where you parked.

Flora & Fauna

Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, swordfern, red alder.

History & Background

The old road that makes up Alder Creek Trail is a sewer/utility road that is closed to the public. This area is part of the Lower Nehalem Community Trust and the Alder Creek Wildlife Sanctuary.

Shared By:

Samantha Goodwin

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Manzanita

#3994

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Manzanita

#125

in Oregon

#3,994

Overall
24 Views Last Month
36 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
The trail passes under sitka spruce and into a sunny area ahead.
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
The trail crosses a grassy, easy slope with alders along the other side.
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

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