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Robert Straub State Park. An often sand-blasting walk along the flat white-sand beach leads down to the mouth of the Nestucca River, considered by many to be the best fishing river on the north coast. The beach along the Pacific is frequently windy, but it's separated from the stiller, warmer side of the peninsula by high dunes. Multiple trails cross the dunes into a forest that leads to small beaches on the Nestucca. Relax here with a book, and easily find stillness and sunshine. It's possible to skip the Pacific stroll all together, and find trails to the Nestucca straight from the parking lot, but it's hard to resist the views from the top of the dunes at the Bob Straub. If you choose the ocean side, pitch your beach-camp in the dunes, not the flat sand, and you'll find respite from the sometimes unrelenting wind. West from main intersection in downtown Pacific City across Nestucca River, Pacific City, OR, 97135. 800/551-6949. Free. Daily sunrise-sunset.
Eagle Charters Fishing. Within three minutes of launching from the beach, you can be fishing in a dory and catching rockfish right in front of Haystack Rock. Groups of up to five people can be accommodated, and families with children are welcome. Fishing and ecotourism trips last six hours, except for halibut and tuna fishing, which are 10 to 12 hours. Cape Kiwanda Dr., launches from parking lot at the Pelican Pub (No. 33180), Pacific City, OR, 97135. 877/892-3679. www.eaglechartersfishing.com.
Haystack Fishing Club, Inc.. Offering ocean fishing for salmon, bottom fish, halibut, and crab, Haystack Fishing targets lingcod larger than 10 lbs. After a day of fishing, they'll fillet your catch. These guided dory trips last between four and six hours and accommodate up to six people. Fishing tours are held between June and September. 35170 Brooten Rd., Pacific City, OR, 97125. 503/965-7555 or 866/965-7555. www.haystackfishing.com.
Nature Conservancy Cascade Head Preserve and trail. This dense, green trail winds through a rain forest where 100-inch annual rainfalls nourish 250-year-old Sitka spruces, mosses, and ferns. Emerging from the forest, hikers come upon grassy and treeless Cascade Head, a rare maritime prairie. There are magnificent views down to the Salmon River and east to the Coast Range. Continuing along the headland, black-tailed deer often graze and turkey vultures soar in the strong winds. You need to be in fairly good shape for the first and steepest part of the hike, which can be done in about an hour. The 270-acre area has been named a United Nations Biosphere Reserve. Coastal bluffs also make this a popular hang-gliding and kite-flying area. The website has detailed driving directions to reach the preserve. Savage Rd., 6 mi south of Neskowin off U.S. 101, Pacific City, OR, 97135. 503/230-1221. www.nature.org. Free. Upper trail closed from Jan. to mid July.
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