It’s a best kept secret that May on the Tillamook Coast is one of the best times to get out and explore. In light of that, the Friends of Netarts Bay Watershed Estuary Beach and Sea (WEBS) is hosting a variety of free events to encourage people to get outside and explore nature, while learning more about the natural resources of our area and how to responsibly enjoy them.
All of WEBS community programs are free. Tax-exempt donations to Netarts Bay WEBS to enable programs like this are encouraged, but not required.
Please register in advance. Registration opens approximately two weeks prior to the event and spots typically fill quickly. Find links to the reservation site at Explorenaturetillamookcoast.com; Netartsbaytoday.org; or by searching for the Friends of Netarts Bay on Eventbrite.com.
May 5 – Kayak Netarts Bay: Bay Entrance
This tour offers an easy ride, taking advantage of the last outgoing tide towards the mouth of Netarts Bay. Participants will stop on the way to see the aquarium of marine life such as kelp and Dungeness crab, filtering shellfish, and aquatic vegetation that lives in the shallow waters of the cove. On our return, we’ll paddle the incoming tides past harbor seals lounging on the sand bar before heading back to the launch site.
[Restrictions: People with serious medical conditions should exercise caution in joining. Anyone over 230lbs should notify us during registration to ensure we have the proper gear. ]
When: Saturday, May 5 from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Netarts Bay area. Sign up for specific location!
Details: Free to attend. Guided by Kayak Tillamook County and Netarts WEBS. Kayaks and gear provided. Family friendly, but please keep your dogs home. Must be at least 16 years old to attend.
May 5 – Kay Netarts Bay: Sand Dollar Beds
Visiting the sand dollar beds isn’t for the timid! No they don’t bite, but the journey to see them is no easy float. The first half of this trip takes advantage of an incoming tide, flushing participants far up into the inner bay toward our destination. Because the NOAA tides predictions are only predictions, participants should be prepared for anything. For instance, the journey to the sand dollar beds may involve short portages and using teamwork to carry the kayaks with us. On the return trip, we will paddling against a mild incoming tidal current and potentially a Northwest wind. If you are up for a challenge, this is the trip for you.
[Restrictions: Children under 16 years old and people with serious medical conditions are not allowed on this trip. Anyone over 230lbs should notify us during registration to ensure we have the proper gear.]
When: Saturday, May 5 from 1 – 5:30 p.m.
Where: Netarts Bay area. Sign up for specific location!
Details: Free to attend. Guided by Kayak Tillamook County and Netarts WEBS. Kayaks and gear provided. Must be at least 16 years old to attend. No dogs allowed.
May 6 & May 10 – Hike Netarts: Cape Lookout
Lush, old-growth forest, distant waterfalls, and outstanding vistas are all part of this Hike Netarts: Cape Lookout adventure. The journey is a moderate, 5-mile round-trip trek to the Cape Lookout headland, which extends more than a mile out into the ocean. Towering more than 800 feet above sea level, the headland is a great whale watching area, provides great views of the Sandlake watershed, and confirms the amazing beauty of Tillamook County.
Although this hike has a stunning backdrop, the trail itself can be muddy and slick. Also, expect to navigate over stair stepping tree roots. Portions of the trail parallel the cliffs edge and do not have guard rails.There is a single port-a-potty at the trailhead. There are no other bathrooms or drinking water facilities on this hike. Please bring water and snacks. Weather on the Oregon Coast is unpredictable and trails can be slick and muddy. Please be prepared and bring appropriate gear and clothing.
When: May 6 from 10 – 2:30 p.m.
Where: Cape Lookout Trailhead located 2.5 miles south of the Cape Lookout State Park campground and day use area.
Details: Free to attend. Moderate to difficult 5-mile round trip hike. Trail can be muddy, slick, and will include navigating over stair stepping tree roots. Portions of the trail parallel the cliffs edge and do not have guard rails. Please bring your own water and snacks, and dress for the weather. Must be at least 12 years old to attend. Dogs welcome.
May 12 – International Migratory Bird Day
Do you love watching and listening to birds along the bay? Discover the amazing life histories of the aquatic birds while exploring Netarts Bay and Cape Meares headlands in search of coastal birds and nesting seabirds. Learn about the local geologic and ecological features of our areas headlands and how these birds have adapted to live on the edge!
When: Saturday, May 12 9 a.m. 12:30 p.m.
Details: Free to attend. Family friendly, however no dogs are allowed.
May 19 – Tidepool Discovery Days
What amazing creatures are lurking at the water’s edge? Come out to Oceanside and see! WEBS staff and volunteers will be onsite in the tide pools helping visitors understand what is living along the coastal edge. Learn about anemone clone wars, how a sea star eats, or how hermit crabs steal shell homes from other crabs! From seaweeds to sculpin fish, there is another worldly place to discover.
When: May 19, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Where: Oceanside Recreation Area
Details: Free to attend. Wear boots or bring a change of shoes. Flip flops are never ideal for exploring tide pools. Be prepared for Oregon Coast weather. Dogs allowed.
May 20 – Art of Growing Oysters
Do you enjoy Pacific Northwest oysters? The oyster industry is an important part of Tillamook County and includes a number of farms, like Pacific Seafood operating out of Bay City, and one of the largest oyster hatcheries in the country, Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery on Netarts Bay. If you are interested in understanding where the tasty critters on your dinner plate come from, join in on the next tour. The tour is a rare opportunity to learn about the these facilities, the state of the art scientific research going on at the hatchery, and the issues faced by the shellfish industries and wild shellfish along the Pacific Northwest.This event includes an estuary walk to view oyster beds near Bay Ocean Peninsula County Park, a stop at Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, and ends at Pacific Seafood’s restaurant, the Fish Peddler.
When: May 20, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Netarts/Tillamook – register for details
Details: Free to attend. Wear boots or closed toe shoes. The walk to the oyster beds will be muddy and is a moderate to moderate plus walk depending on the day. Please consider your comfort walking through mud and water.
Each of these events are free and are part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Explore Nature Series events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the area’s natural resources and natural resource-based economy. They are partially funded through the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County, Visit Tillamook Coast and the Travel Oregon Forever Fund. Learn more at www.explorenaturetillamookCoast.com.
WEBS is a local non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining the Netarts Bay area through education and stewardship. Learn more at www.netartsbaytoday.org.
For questions please contact Smith_Chrissy22@yahoo.com or call 541-231-8041.