THE BEST PLACES TO PADDLE AND BIKE IN THE NORTHWEST
PNW is trendy for good reason. A spectrum of deep green tones dominates the mountain views, it borders the Pacific Ocean, and the number of outdoor activities is seemingly endless.
Tillamook Bay, near Tillamook State Forest, is roughly an hour west of Portland, OR. This paddling location is not for the faint hearted. The strength of the bay is only a slight difference in intensity from the powerful Pacific it opens up into. Despite it being a bay, the tides are still noticeable. Expect a challenging, but well worth it workout at the mouth of the ocean.
Nearby Tillamook has fantastic restaurants, breweries, and shopping. It’s easily accessed by car or, if you’re looking to spend some more time outdoors, by bike or longboard. Cruise down sleepy streets and stop at your leisure to explore the town. If biking is more up your alley, the Tillamook region has multiple bike paths in a range of difficulties. Don't forget: you're in the mountains. While a classic city bike or single-speed may be ideal for navigating the town's streets, a durable and well equipped bike is necessary for tearing through unpaved trails. Gales Creek, Storey Burn, and Wilson River provide several loops to choose from. Each are engulfed in the thick and moody Oregon forest.
Tillamook certainly boasts that “small town” feel, but you won’t be disappointed with its offerings as well as its proximity to hiking, paddleboarding, mountain views, and outdoor destinations.
California is massive state with an incredible variety of natural wonders to take in. If you find yourself further north, don’t miss out on Yosemite National Park. Seriously. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. People come from all over the world to take in the larger-than-life mountains, crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, and untouched surroundings. Immerse yourself in Mariposa Grove and take a step back in time in the nearby National Historic Landmark hotel Big Trees Lodge (formerly Wawona Hotel).
For a SUP excursion, visit Tenaya Lake in the heart of Yosemite. This crystal clear lake is surrounded by gorgeous mountains with easy road access and areas for parking. The lake is calm, sun soaked, and perfect for an easy afternoon paddle. Hike, bike, paddle, ski (well, not very successfully if you plan on going in July), Yosemite Valley has it all.
Head even further northwest to visit Redwood National Forest. Lean against the tallest trees in the world, 40 miles of rugged Pacific coastline, camp among the red giants, and hike and bike to your heart's content. The Little Bald Hills is rarely used by hikers. Bikers will find ample space to speed and pull over without worrying about people on foot. The trail weaves through the Redwoods and reaches a maximum elevation of 2000 feet. Little Bald Hills wraps through the old growth redwood forest for an awesome scenic trail
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