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The Peninsula Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The Trask River from The Peninsula Trailhead (bobcat)
Mossy descent, The Peninsula (bobcat)
Giant Sitka spruce, The Peninsula (bobcat)
The loop around The Peninsula on the Trask River (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Peninsula TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Peninsula Picnic Area
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 0.9 miles
  • Elevation gain: 250 feet
  • High Point: 300 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

The Peninsula is a tongue of basalt around which the Trask River has to perform a tight, looping meander on its course to Tillamook Bay. The short trail here ascends through mossy woods along the spine of this promontory and then descends to one of the finest old-growth groves of Sitka spruce in the Tillamook State Forest. You’ll hike back along the Trask, which offers some of the best wild steelhead and fall/spring chinook fishing in the Coast Range.

From the trailhead, bear right along a pole-rail fence and then undulate a little on a rooty, rocky trail under Sitka spruce, Douglas-fir, and big-leaf maple. The Trask River flows on your left, and you can see the road to the boat take-out down to your right (Boats are not permitted to proceed downstream from here to disturb resting steelhead at the The Dam Hole). Salal, sword fern, thimbleberry, and vine maple form the understory.

At a junction, go right up the spine of the ridge under maples and alders. Large stumps sprout clumps of red huckleberry. Descend under moss-draped trees and switchback twice to a junction. Go right here and come to the Peninsula Picnic Area: there are four picnic tables scattered about under shady spruces and hemlocks. Hike through the bracken, and drop to pass a couple of picnic tables and reach the river at a small beach. At various times of the year, you can find the spawned out carcasses of salmon stranded in the shallows. The Trask River forms a rapid at the bend in the meander here, and you may surprise mergansers who float the currents.

Return to the trailhead on the trail that runs along the east shore of The Peninsula. The largest Sitka spruce in the old-growth grove looms over a picnic table. Beyond it, a line of mature trees indicates the former presence of a nurse log. Keep right at a junction, and continue walking above the shore. Cinder blocks form part of the trail tread in places. Pass a large cedar, and then hike below a massive fire-scarred snag. The trail rises to offer views down to the Trask, and a short spur to the right takes you to a calm bend with a deep pool. Soon after this, you’ll reach the trailhead and your car.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Picnic tables

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 50 Hikes in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests by the Sierra Club, Oregon Chapter
  • 50 Hikes in the Tillamook State Forest by the Columbia Group Sierra Club
  • 75 Hikes in Oregon's Coast Range and Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag

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.