(Viewing tips for the motion-sick prone: don't let the video occupy too much of your field of view -- stay far enough from the screen, or don't use full-screen -- and don't try to watch the whole 54 minutes all at once :) )
At the southwest corner of Washington State are Ilwaco, Long Beach, and Cape Disappointment State Park (part of the Lewis and Clark National Parks). Along the beach and through the park runs the ~8 mile Discovery Trail, paved for the length of the beach, and most of its run through the park. This is a video of the whole trail, in real time, from the north end to the south end in Ilwaco, and then the loop through the park roads until it meets back with the trail at Beard's Hollow.
[For the same video at 3x speed, please see here: http://youtu.be/9xWq21B7lCI]
The loop through the park includes five short climbs between Ilwaco and the turn-off for the Ranger's office (and the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse). Two of them are hardly worth mentioning, while the other three are significant but even a casual cyclist willing to gear down and take their time should be fine. Note that while the speed limit along that stretch is 25mph, I did see some drivers exceeding the limit significantly, and no enforcement in sight. Make sure you're visible and paying attention!
Past the Ranger's office turn-off, the speed limit increases to 35mph and the road narrows a bit, but it's flatter and easier to keep one's speed up. I actually felt a little bit safer along that stretch than on the 25mph section.
The whole trail is a real pleasure to ride (not counting loose dogs and their poop, of course). With a tailwind, it's like riding a nice gradual downgrade. Of course, going the other way (as I was here) it's like a long uphill. I'm not the fastest rider around anyway, so between taking it easy and the headwind, I take my time getting to the end.
The trail is pretty winding with poor sight lines, and then once in the park can be wet and slippery with lots of needles and leaves, and even a tricky wood bridge here and there. It's a good place to slow down a bit and enjoy watching the birds (along the beach) and the salamanders (through the forest). :)
Related map links:
Highlights of the ride include:
Clark's Tree (a couple of fun hairpin turns here): 1:30
Going under the boardwalk at Sid Snyder Drive (watch yer head!): 9:30
Turn-off for the Gray whale skeleton: 10:05
Check out someone else's head-mounted camera video for a closer look at the skeleton:
Water over the trail (eat my wake! :) ): 26:10
Steep gravel uphill section (a stronger rider, or with lower gearing than my road bike, probably wouldn't have to get off and walk part of it like I did :) ): 28:45
Long bridge at end of trail in Ilwaco: 38:30
Twisty trail with concrete-planked bridges adjacent to park road: 51:30