Discovery Trail: Retrace explorers' footsteps

Our dunes and beach provide fantastic walks in any weather. DAMIAN MULINIX photo

Many hiking and nature trails are available across the Peninsula. The most notable of these is Discovery Trail, which may someday provide an eight-mile asphalt-surfaced path from north Long Beach to the Port of Ilwaco.

At present, this trail is paved on the portion running through the dunes in the town of Long Beach. By summer 2004, a gravel section may be paved from Ilwaco to the southern limits of Seaview, where disputes over the right-of-way have stalled construction work.

Nevertheless, it is an incredible trail and its entire length can be traveled. Those on bicycles will have to detour onto the streets of Seaview in order to traverse its entire length, while walkers may either cut over to the beach or into the Seaview residential area. The Long Beach Boardwalk is one convenient starting point about two miles south of the trail's northern terminus.

Discovery Trail retraces the approximate route of a party of men led by Capt. William Clark in November 1805.

Other trails include those at Cape Disappoint-ment State Park, Fort Columbia and Leadbetter State Park. Check with park officials as to the condition of the trails.

It is important to realize that trails around the lighthouses traverse steep and sometimes dangerous terrain. Each year people must be rescued from off-trail cliff faces where they have become stranded. Please stay on the established trails.

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