Nehalem Bay: Why aren’t you paddling in it right this second?

Nehalem Bay Panorama
Panorama of Nehalem Bay looking due east, but the image covers North to South.

My wife and I have taken a few trips to the Manzanita, Oregon area and always find ourselves at Nehalem Bay State Park. When the wind isn’t howling in the near-hurricane fashion Manzanita is known for, this small state park is a hidden gem. While the beach side of the park is gorgeous in an Oregon-standard wind blown, semi-rugged, no services offered, walk for miles alone if you want to, the bay side is… well, pretty much the same but with the wind to your back instead of in your face. The biggest difference for us though is how inviting Nehalem Bay can be for paddle boarding versus the usually-angry Pacific Ocean that lines the beach. There is a public dock located just a mile or so inside the entrance of the park with a small beach on its south side. It’s a perfect little area with nicer bathroom facilities, a parking lot, and ease of putting in just steps from your car. Once in the water you can head north for miles up Nehalem River or else head south to the jetty entrance where fun waves abound as does plenty of ocean life. Beyond the jetty is the Pacific Ocean and on a mild summer day it’s not difficult to paddle straight out the jetty and into the big blue. We had a fantastic time yesterday and even experienced a small downwinder on our way back from the jetty as the winds picked up from the south and gave us a healthy two mile boost back to the car.

I’ll be adding more info about Nehalem Bay to a permanent page on this site in the near future with plenty more information about this now favorite SUP destination.

About the author

A lifelong surfer and now a regular SUP'r, Brett has lived in Portland, Oregon for 16 years. With a lifetime of shoulder wear from paddling, SUP was a logical transition to keep him on the water. Now he SUP surfs, downwinds, races, and recreationally paddles with friends and family as much as life will allow.