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Skipanon River Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View downriver, Skipanon River Loop Trail (bobcat)
Canada geese, Skipanon River Loop Trail (bobcat)
Fishing boats, Warrenton Boat Basin (bobcat)
The walking route along the Skipanon River in Warrenton (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Lighthouse Park TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: 8th Street Dam
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: Lollipop loop
  • Distance: 7.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 20 feet
  • High Point: 25 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

The City of Warrenton, built on tidal flats and marshes, has a system of trails that, in the main, follow the levees constructed to keep the waters from flooding the town. The Skipanon River Loop is a short excursion that follows levees on both sides of the river near its mouth. You can extend the hike by walking out to Youngs Bay. There is an abundance of waterfowl in these parts, including herons, egrets, grebes, geese, and various species of ducks. You might observe a red-tailed hawk perched up high and elk will come out and graze the levees at dusk and dawn.

  • Skipanon River Loop = 2.1 miles
  • Eastern Spur = 2.6 miles in and out
  • Boat Basin to Youngs Bay = 2.6 miles in and out

Spend a few minutes checking out Lighthouse Park: there's a memorial to fishermen lost at sea and a map sign of the Warrenton Waterfront Trail. Walk east back to Harbor Drive and follow the Warrenton Waterfront Trail north of the highway. This soon crosses under the road bridge over the Skipanon River on a paved trail that heads down a dyke above the river. Pass a small dock and fishing platform with a gravel parking area down to the right at 2nd Street. The paved trail then reaches the picnic tables at the small Skipanon River Park across from a spruce-forested island in the river. From here, go out on 3rd Street to Main Avenue and go left until you reach 5th Street. Make a left here and resume hiking along a grassy dyke until you reach the 8th Street Dam. Go left and cross the river here to reach a junction.

Turn right and head upriver on the Eastern Spur of the Skipanon River Trail. You'll pass a Sitka spruce/willow wetland to the left and notice lots of elk sign, in the form of tracks and droppings, on the levee. You may encounter Canada geese and ducks scudding away on the water. Walk around a meander in the river: look for a little outdoor church on the opposite bank. The levee continues down to Highway 101 (Business Loop). Turn around and hike back to the 8th Street Dam, where you'll continue the hike by keeping to the east bank of the river.

Pass around a gate and walk along the grassy, mole-hilled dyke. Pass a spruce wetland and then a boathouse to arrive at a gate. The trail ends at Galena Avenue, a narrow paved road between the Skipanon River and Skipanon Slough.

Walk out Galena to busy Harbor Drive and head straight across to the boat basin, which has restrooms. Make right to explore this area. A road leads around the basin and past a gate, becoming gravel and then sand in a Scots broom wasteland. This is the Skipanon Peninsula Trail. Continue out straight, with the river, here a dredged boat channel, to your left, until you arrive at a point at the mouth of Youngs Bay (Parts of this track have deep puddles in the winter and spring). Hike back to Harbor Drive and go right over the Skipanon River Bridge to return to the Lighthouse Park Trailhead.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Lighthouse Park Museum open on weekends
  • Picnic tables and restrooms at the boat basin

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • none

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.