Opinion

North Coast Food Trail is ready for launch


One year ago, Visit Tillamook Coast held a two-day agritourism workshop that was facilitated by Travel Oregon through its Rural Tourism Studio training program. Sixty-seven community members took part, and they made the decision at the end of the two days to develop a food and farm trail centered on the north coast of Oregon.

By Nan Devlin
Tourism Director, Visit Tillamook Coast

Here’s what’s especially terrific about the trail: Nothing had to be invented or superimposed. All the participants and experiences were already here. The trail concept packages these businesses and organizations into a coastal adventure story that resonates with travelers seeking to immerse themselves in local culture.

With help from a $10,000 grant from Travel Oregon, $20,000 from Visit Tillamook Coast, and $5,000 from each of two neighboring communities (Cannon Beach and Lincoln City), planning for a food trail began. After a year’s effort of organizing 60 businesses, and developing a public relations and media plan, logo, website and brochure, the North Coast Food Trail will launch April 14 with a “Coastally Crafted” beer and cheese event at the Pelican Brewery in Tillamook.

The trail is a self-guided, year-round experience. The theme is “food, farm, fish and forage,” and includes farmers, fishers, harvesters, growers, producers, restaurants, retailers, breweries, wineries, distilleries, bakeries, cooking schools, guided experiences, and lodging that specializes in serving local foods. Unlike other agritourism trails, the North Coast Food Trail reflects a varied bounty.

The guided tours engage visitors in local activities. Two cooking schools — EVOO in Cannon Beach and the Culinary Center in Lincoln City — act as bookends to the trail, and each features locally sourced foods. In between, there are charter fishing excursions, clamming while kayaking, farm-to-table and dock-to-table dinners, eco tours, dairy farm tours, scenic railroad dinners, foraging in the forest, and much more. Here’s the list of participants:

Cannon Beach: Cannon Beach Farmers Market; Newmans at 988; Cannon Beach Distillery; Ecola Seafoods Restaurant & Market; Pelican Brewing; Sea Level Bakery; EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School; Bruce’s Candy Kitchen.

Manzanita: Manzanita Farmers Market; Winery at Manzanita; Big Wave Café.

Nehalem: North Fork 53; Meadow Harvest Grass Fed Beef and Lamb; Nehalem River Ranch; Nehalem Bay Winery; Buttercup; Kendra’s River Inn Food & Lodging.

Wheeler: Salmonberry Saloon.

Rockaway Beach: Offshore Grill; Kelly’s Brighton Marina.

Garibaldi: Garibaldi Portside Bistro; Fishpeople Seafood; Source Oyster and Wine Bar, Seafood Market; CS Fishery; Garibaldi Charters; Siggi-G Ocean Charters; Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad; Garibaldi Cultural Heritage Initiative.

Bay City: Sheltered Nook Tiny Home Village.

Tillamook: Food Roots; Tillamook Farmers Market; Pelican Brewing and Tap Room; de Garde Brewing; Brickyard Farms; Oregon Coastal Flowers Farm; Farmer Creek Marketplace; Pacific Restaurant; Tillamook Creamery; Tillamook Forest Center; Twins Ranch Covered Wagon Camp; Recess Food Truck.

Beaver: Powder Creek Ranch Bed & Breakfast.

Cloverdale: Nestucca Bay Creamery; Bear Creek Artichokes.

Netarts: Nevor Shellfish Farm; The Schooner Restaurant; Jacobsen Salt.

Pacific City: Pelican Brewing; Pacific City Dory Charters; Pacific City Farmers Market; Twist Wine Company; Meridian Restaurant & Bar at Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa.

Neskowin: Neskowin Farmers Market.

Lincoln City: Lincoln City Farmers Market; Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market; Culinary Center of Lincoln City; Bay House Restaurant. Throughout region: Kayak Tillamook; Tillamook Eco Adventures; Big Foody Tours; Tillamook Estuaries Partnership.

For more information on Coastally Crafted, April 14: pelicanbrewing.com/happenings/event/coastally-crafted-beer-cheese/

For more information on the North Coast Food Trail: northcoastfoodtrail.com/

Bon appétit!