We just came home from a weekend at Cannon Beach! On our way home we stopped at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park located near Astoria, Oregon. This is a bit of a drive for anyone living in NW Washington, but if you happen to be in the area it is definitely worth a stop!
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park is a grouping of a couple different locations. Our National Park Pass that we bought for our Teton trip in August lets us in to all the National Parks for a year, but if we did not have the pass it would have been $10 per adult (although this kind of seemed like an honor system because there was no entry gate or tag to purchase to display on your windshield). We were at the Fort Clatsop location for about 2 hours total.
We first stopped at the visitor center where they had FREE junior ranger packets and badges! We have found this varies from park to park (you had to pay for badges and junior ranger activity books at Yellowstone). Eliza especially was very excited to try to search for different plants and animals listed in her junior ranger book.
After picking up the kids’ junior ranger pamphlets and a map, we walked around the Fort Clatsop replica buildings. The kids were able to climb all around the structures. There were almost no other people around when we were there (on a Monday morning)!
After looking around Fort Clatsop, we did the Netul River Trail hike/walk which is about a mile long one way. There was a lot of wildlife along the river trail. Eliza found 10+ caterpillars, we saw a heron, banana slugs, river otters (muskrat? We weren’t entirely sure what they were), and ducks! It was totally flat and had several boardwalks along the path.
Reading through the park information, it sounds like they have a lot of great programs during the summer including FREE guided canoe tours and ranger hikes and programs! There is no camping at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park so it is more like a day-trip to do if you are already in the area at another state park or staying on the Oregon coast.
If you have more stamina than a 1 mile hike (pretty much our kids’ max), they have a trail that connects Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach (about 5 miles) that sounded beautiful!
I would definitely stop here again as a place to stretch our legs if we are driving through!