Grant’s Getaway: Afoot & Afloat on the Nestucca River
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.
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