Hike Distance: 9.2 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 872.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 487 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 113797 feet
My wife and I had decided that when the weather is nice on the coast that we would head out for a hike there. That day finally came and we decided to drive to Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon!!
Being a nice day the parking area was crowded at Coffenbury Lake, and it appeared that most of those people were fishing along the shoreline. We talked about how odd the name for this lake was; Coffenbury Lake? I still haven’t looked up its origin but the name doesn’t give me a good feeling. haha
We didn’t traverse the two mile circumference of the lake and instead headed north on the paved trail toward Swash Lake. There were some bikers and walkers but it was surprisingly sparse on such a nice day. When we reached Swash Lake there was a short trail leading to an observation deck. The lake looks more like a green marsh with no observable water. Plenty of birds were chirping but out of sight in the tall grasses.
We then continued north to one of the Fort Stevens Batteries. It’s quite an impressive historic site, and was somewhat crowded but dispersed. You could spend a lot of time exploring all the buildings but we just briefly went around the area and took pictures. We’ll have to make a note to come back and explore this area more extensively! There are plenty of views of the Columbia River in this area, as you’d expect.
We then headed back out of the historic area and headed west toward the beach. When we reached the beach there were very few people. In fact, heading south we saw very few people and had plenty of solitude. There were some sailboarders to watch, which is always interesting.
Heading south we eventually reached the shipwreck Peter Iredale. This is where the crowds are usually overwhelming, but many people had already left for dinner. Still, we didn’t stay long as we enjoy smaller or no crowds. We then hiked east to our car and ended a fantastic hike. If ever you visit the Astoria, OR area then Fort Stevens should be on your list of places to see!