July 22, 2015. The Long Beach Peninsula is a tiny jut of land that is in the southwest corner of Washington State. On the West is the Pacific Ocean, the south The Columbia River and the east Willapa Bay. It has the longest beach in the United States, almost 30 miles of continuous sand and water.
The area captivated us. We’ve traveled pretty extensively now along the west coast and every once in awhile we visit a place where we say to each other, “This may be a place where we could settle down.” Long Beach Peninsula was one of those places.
The little town of Long Beach is a tourist destination, but also has many very old restored homes.
Downtown has a Beach Destination Feel.
A Few of the Many Restored Old Homes
It took about 1-1/2 hours to reach the area from Hoaquiam, Washington, where we are staying so we wanted to see everything possible in one day. It turned out to be a long day which we could have easily turned into three days of exploring and hiking if we had the time. We left Long Beach and headed north toward Leadbetter State Park. Along the way we stopped at Oysterville, a small protected hamlet where the entire town is on the National Historical Registry. For an idea of the beauty and history of the town visit Sydney of Oysterville.com.
One strange, unexplained fact about the town I found online is “In 1893, the county seat was stolen by raiders in the middle of the night and taken to South Bend.” See https://funbeach.com/explore/villages/oysterville/ I always thought a county seat was a town chosen to be where the county had their government offices. How do you steal that in the middle of the night?
These are the discarded oyster shells. See this article on the uses for discarded shells http://saltwaterfishing.sc.gov/oyster.html
Leadbetter Point State Park was our next stop. The road is lined with large old growth trees.
There are several hikes in the park, but we decided on the Bay Loop Trail, since we had the dog and some of the other hikes were off limits due to the protected Snowy Plover habitat. Leadbetter Point has over 1200 acres of marshes, dunes and forest and in addition it connects to Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, which can only be reached by hiking. This would be a great hike during the waterfowl migration season.
Leaving the parking lot you enter a short path leading to the beach.
The tide was out so it didn’t appear very pretty at first.
This lone raccoon was way out near the water’s edge looking for clams, oblivious that he is supposed to be nocturnal. Maybe his hunger outweighed his need for sleep. No garbage cans in this area, the animals need to forage the natural way.
After about 1/4 mile up the beach the trail turns inland to the marine forest area.
Some more flowers I encountered: