This week, I took a respite from the holiday hustle and bustle to savor a place meant for the quiet times along the Little Nestucca River in Tillamook County.

The waterway cuts a beeline thru the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the trip is so easy anyone can try on a river paddle with local guides called “Kayak Tillamook” who cater to beginners.

“The paddle trip flows right next to the forest and through the wildlife refuge,” said guide Marcus Hinz. “As you paddle out toward the bay you quickly forget there’s anything else around you except the wildlife.”

You may see bald eagles, red tail hawks, osprey, deer, elk, beavers, river otters and more – in fact, the bird life is remarkable. Be sure to dress warm – and in layers to accommodate your level of activity. Avoid cotton – don’t forget a rain jacket cap and gloves. A PFD is provided and it is mandatory on a trip where safety comes first.

Nestucca Bay Wildlife Refuge is also a place where you can leave the paddles behind and take a stroll along the refuge trail, just off Cannery Hill Road, that meanders across heart of the refuge.

Nestucca Bay Wildlife Refuge is also a place where you can leave the paddles behind and take a stroll along the refuge trail, just off Cannery Hill Road, that meanders across heart of the refuge. US Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Roy Lowe, said that NBWR was established in 1991 to protect Canada geese that migrate to coastal Oregon from Alaska. In the late 1980′s, up to 1,000 geese wintered across the refuge marsh and pastures. Now, nearly 10,000 geese show up here from November through March.

The stunning viewpoint atop the wooden deck offers a breathtaking panorama that reaches from the mountains to the sea.

In addition to the NBWR trip, you’ll also be pleased to know that there are more than 800 miles of water trails in Tillamook County that reach across rivers, estuaries and sloughs. There’s even a map to guide your way: “Tillamook County Water Trails.”

About the Author: Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.

Flag as Incorrect

Is any of the information on this page incorrect?

In this Grant’s Getaway

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

Share your thoughts Comments

Have something to say? Your Comment

  1. Your comment will be the first one for this story. Some might think of this as a lot of pressure, but as a trail blazer you recognize that someone has to be first. Your fellow travelers appreciate your opinion, so thanks in advance!

A related Grant’s Getaway

  1. A Perfect Paddle

    written by Grant McOmie on March 12th, 2010

    A clear sky and brilliant sunshine adds up to a March surprise on a recent weekend along the Oregon coast where you can really get away from it all simply with a paddle and a spirit of adventure. It was a perfect time to dive into new adventure on…

css.php
Close

Sign up for the

Travel Oregon

Newsletter

Stay in touch and get the inside scoop for your next Oregon adventure. We'll deliver Oregon stories, itineraries, contests and ideas of where to eat + drink and get outdoors and explore - right to your inbox, every month.

Success! You're all signed up to receive Oregon trip ideas delivered right to your inbox.

Hmm, something went wrong, please try later.

can't wait to hear from us?

Follow us Online