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Four Great Fall Hikes & Craft Beer Stops for Afterwards

Wander through a lush rainforest at Ecola State Park where some of the world’s tallest trees tower over your head or hike past old-growth Sitka Spruce to the end of dramatic Cape Falcon in Oswald West State Park where you can soak up stunning ocean views. Fall is a great time for coastal hiking offering good trail conditions, cooler weather, frequent opportunities to observe wildlife and dramatic atmospheric conditions unique to this time of year. Cannon Beach offers access to some of the Northwest’s most scenic hiking trails and when your hiking is done, you’ll find a selection of places for a craft beer and some great food. Here are four hikes with recommendations for pub stops for after your explorations are finished.

Ecola Point to Crescent Beach

A 1.25-mile trail leads from the parking area at the main viewpoint in Ecola State Park to Crescent Beach. The trail is steep, challenging and occasionally slippery or muddy in places, but offers access to one of the more secluded beaches in the area. For brews and food after your hike: As you return to town, check out Public Coast Brewing Co. at the north end of town, where brewer Will Leroux conjours up an extensive lineup of craft brews perfectly suited for the restaurant’s generous burgers or fish and chips. Try out the NW Red Ale or the The People’s Pale.

Tillamook Head Trail

From the trailhead at Indian Beach in Ecola State Park, follow the route taken by a party of explorers from the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806. This segment of the Oregon Coast Trail leads from Indian Beach about six miles to the northern trailhead in south Seaside. The best views are within the first 1.3 miles, making this a good option for shorter hikes too. For brews and food after your hike: Head back to Bill’s Tavern & Brewhouse in downtown Cannon Beach for a locally crafted brew by the oldest brewery in Cannon Beach. Great bets are the award-winning Duck Dive Pale Ale or Blackberry Beauty.

Cape Falcon Trail

A 2.3-mile hike leads from the trailhead parking area in Oswald West State Park on the west side of Highway 101 through coastal rainforest to the end of Cape Falcon. The trail emerges from the forest at the end of the cape through hedges of salal and wild roses, offering views north to Tillamook Head and south to Cape Lookout. For brews and food after your hike: Top off your adventure at Pelican Brewing Company located off the Sunset Boulevard exit in midtown Cannon Beach, where flatbread pizzas and seafood-centric entrees arrive alongside options like their popular and award-winning Imperial Pelican Ale, Tsunami Stout or Macpelican’s Scottish Ale.

Necarney Creek to Elk Flats

From the smaller parking area just south of the main Oswald West parking lot, the Necarney Creek Trail descends into the rainforest and connects to the Elk Flats Trail south, offering about a 1.5-mile walk through forest, emerging at meadows frequented by elk and eventually leading to a short spur trail to sheer cliffs overlooking Devil’s Cauldron. For brews and food after your hike: On your way back into Cannon Beach, check out the Warren House Pub near the Tolovana Park Wayside on the south end of town. Enjoy a great Reuben sandwich or their Manhattan-style clam chowder alongside brews from Bill’s Brewhouse.

Watch local menus during the fall season and you'll be rewarded with a fresh bounty ranging from wild caught salmon to locally foraged mushrooms. If you are as inspired by art as you are by the great outdoors, find out why Cannon Beach is known as one of the best art towns in the Northwest by planning your hiking trip to coincide with the Stormy Weather Arts Festival, where you can also soak in three days of arts and music events in one of the world's most beautiful destinations.

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