Newport is a beautiful place to hike, especially for families – the terrain is varied and generally not too challenging, the views are spectacular, and a latte or ice cream cone are never very far away. Just to the north and south of the city are some more challenging, longer hikes that would appeal to more serious trekkers. Here are some short hikes within city limits:
The federal Bureau of Land Management operates the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, a spit of land at the north end of town that juts out dramatically into the Pacific, punctuated at the end by the stately and beautiful Yaquina Head Lighthouse. There are a number of short walks and hikes that can be strung together for a complete tour of the headland. Note that there is a $7 admission fee for cars.
750 NW Lighthouse Drive (follow signs off of Rte. 101 north of town)
Park grounds open 8 am to 5 pm daily
$7 fee for non-commercial vehicles; free to walk or bike in
Mike Miller Park in South Beach is a gorgeous one-mile loop trail that traverses a range of habitats, from an old spruce/fir forest of towering trees to freshwater wetlands. In recent years the Mike Miller loop has been linked to new trails near the Newport campus of Oregon Coast Community College; the trail system can be accessed either from the playground at the Wilder community abutting the college campus or from the Mike Miller trailhead.
Left on SE 50th Street south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge
South Beach State Park maintains a range of trails, from a flat, paved bike trail perfect for bikes, scooters, strollers, and rollerblades, to wooded trails that can provide quite a workout. Skirting the edge of the park’s campground is the Cooper Ridge Nature Trail, a 1.75-mile loop through forest and meadow habitats. The South Jetty Trail, a paved ADA-accessible path, is a one-mile link between the park and the South Jetty recreation area. The Old Jetty Trail is another wooded alternative, which basically parallels the paved trail but goes through the shore pine forest and dune habitats of the park.
South of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on west side of Rte. 101
No fee for day use
Eight miles south of Newport is the relatively new Beaver Creek State Natural Area, which is laced with gorgeous upland meadow trails. Trails start from the Visitor Center, or from a less well-marked parking area on South Beaver Creek Road (ask at the Visitor Center for directions). Hikers will almost surely see evidence of the elk herds that frequent the park, and perhaps signs of other wildlife – bears, raptors, deer, river otters – as well.
Turn east onto Beaver Creek Road 7.4 miles south of Yaquina Bay Bridge; Visitor Center is on the right in a little more than a mile
A great way to get around Newport, feel the coastal breeze on your face, and get a great workout all at once is to bike. Whether you’ve got a sleek, speedy road bike, a tricked-out high-tech mountain bike, or a touring bike with a tinkly bell and a wicker basket on the handlebars, there’s a ride for you in and around town.Bike rides in the Newport area include road rides with and without killer hills, beautiful paved bike paths, and gnarly trails that include everything from gravel road to single track.
10 mi. RT. Follow the Oregon Coast Bike Route for a moderately challenging ride between Yaquina Bay Lighthouse (1871) and Yaquina Head Lighthouse (1872). This route takes the rider through the Nye Beach Historic District, offers stunning ocean views, and has enough elevation change to provide a good workout.
27 mi. RT. Moderately challenging, rolling terrain with a steep hill in either direction. This is a beautiful ride along the Yaquina Bay and River and provides an excellent opportunity to see plenty of boats as well as shorebirds, waterfowl, wading birds, eagles, and ospreys. Wide shoulders and smooth pavement for most of the route.
8 mi. RT. Easy ride, mostly flat. This fun ride takes you through sand dunes to the South Beach Jetty, then winds its way through the South Beach Marina, along the estuary, and out to Idaho Point on King Slough. Great views and good bird watching.
5 mi. RT. Easy except for one steep hill. Newport offers plenty of shopping opportunities from department stores to small specialty shops and this route will get you pointed in the right direction. The most direct route is to travel on US 101 (grayline); the purple line shows alternate routes east and west of the highway, and the blue lines take you to the Nye Beach, Bay Front, and City Center Districts.
6.5 mi. RT. This challenging ride takes you through the historic Nye Beach and Bayfront districts and along Yaquina Bay before beginning the long and winding climb up to Yaquina Heights and splendid views. Entails a little over ½ mile travel on Hwy. 20.
7 mi. RT. Easy to moderately challenging. Pack a picnic and enjoy time in any one of the nine City parks on this loop.From bird watching to skateboarding or whale watching to ball games, each park provides a special place for those who pass through.