Running the Discovery Trail in Long Beach, WA

Running the Discovery Trail in Long Beach, WA

When heading out on vacation, it’s always a challenge staying on top of your workout routine. While I don’t every count on keeping up the same level of intensity or duration, I always try to stay active — for my continued fitness and sanity.

We returned to visit family in my hometown of Des Moines, WA and then went to Long Beach, WA for a little beach time and relaxation. In spite of growing up in the area and vacationing in nearby Seaside and Cannon Beach, OR many times, this was our first time at Long Beach. Not only was the beach and town much more low-key, we were very impressed by the recently-built Discovery Trail that extends 8.2 miles from Long Beach to Ilwaco

(click above for a full-size view of the trail – download PDF)

We stayed near the Northern end of the Discovery Trail on Sid Snyder Drive, which is also where the boardwalk ends — a great walk with younger kids. My wife and I were able to slip out and go for about a 6 mile total run from Sid Snyder Drive South to Cape Disappointment State park.

Discovery Trail is a phenomenal, rolling trail that is well-maintained and marked for casual and serious running, biking or walking. Its full length from North to South is 8.2 miles, so a full down-and-back would be a serious run, but would also yield an amazing experience. In our shorter run, we were loving how the trail meanders through rolling seagrass and young fir trees with views of the ocean around every corner. Along the way, you’ll find public restrooms and access to the beach, should you wish to remove your shoes and run or walk on the beach. There’s also plentiful wildlife. We saw deer, bald eagles and various other wildlife as we ran.

And, as far as crowds… we were quite lonely on that drizzly morning as we only encountered a handful of people walking on the trail that morning. It was July, so the drizzle wasn’t too cold… it actually felt quite refreshing in combination with the cool sea breeze coming off the ocean.

Next year, we’ll plan to run more of this phenomenal trail, but for now, we’ve gotten just a taste of it and will remember that beautiful run for a long time. If you’re heading to the area, bring your running shoes and bikes so you can get the full Long Beach experience on the Discovery Trail.

More Info: Visit FunBeach.com

Written By

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground. Follow Jason Mitchell on Google+.