Not a snow person? Then you’ll be happy to hear that the mountains aren’t the only place for wintertime adventuring. Oregon’s coast is the perfect destination for wintertime kayaking.

There are many reasons to try winter kayaking on the coast. For one thing, the water levels in rivers and streams are higher, which means you can paddle father upstream into the hidden creeks and forested waterways. Fewer people means you can get up close to hawks, eagles, elk, river otters and other wildlife. And sometimes the coast is notably warmer than inland areas, especially during an inversion. What’s better than driving out of the metro area fog into the cheerful winter sunshine?

Start your exploration on the Tillamook County Water Trail, 200 miles of navigable water for a variety of skill levels, including flatwater beginner to whitewater expert. The nonprofit Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) has mapped the Nehalem and Tillamook Bay areas. Download maps and information from the TEP website. (As always with kayaking, conditions can change dramatically with the weather and seasons. Know before you go, and be prepared.)

If you’d prefer a guided start to wintertime kayaking, check in with the folks at Kayak Tillamook. Enjoy their wintertime special — Winter Hot Cider Tours, which run through March. Following a half hour of land instruction, the two-hour guided tours come with all needed gear as well as a thermos of hot apple cider for each boater. Rain or shine, it’s a wonderful way to explore the coast and enjoy the season!

To experience what it is like to kayak Tillamook Bay in the winter, check out this video of Grant’s trip with Kayak Tillamook last March.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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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.

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  1. Michelle Forster says…

    I think this is wonderful! It’s nice to see our Coastal Businesses featured on this blog. These guys do a wonderful job show casing our beautiful “Tillamook” scenery and coastal waters. Come and Enjoy, it’s well worth the time!

    Written on January 11th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
  2. amy dunn says…

    We have visited Oregon twice in the past few years and Tillamook is on our list to visit every time we go. We rent a beautiful house on the ocean in Gleneaden and travel up the coast to Tillamook. It is one of the most memorable trips we have ever made!

    Written on January 22nd, 2012 / Flag this Comment
  3. Lynne Murphy says…

    Please tell me where the photo of the kayaker by the beach if seals is.

    Written on January 17th, 2014 / Flag this Comment

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