|Oregon Coast Notes|
|Southern Oregon Coast State Parks|
|Oregon Coast Notes - News|
This park is a quiet place with a hiking trail that extends half way around the island. Lots of birds roost at the end of the trail. The trail also provides a nice view of the Umpqua River. There's no drinking water at this site.
This small park contains a couple of picnic tables, a vault-style restroom and a short boat ramp leading into the Umpqua River. There's a small amount of room for trailer parking, but the parking lot is better suited to passenger vehicles.
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park is located less than a mile from the famous Salmon Harbor on Winchester Bay. The campground and developed day use areas are centered around beautiful Lake Marie. Access to this small freshwater lake is provided for angling and non-motorized boating. There is also a small sandy beach set aside for swimming or just relaxing.
The small overnight campground offers RV and tent campsites, along with two beautiful one-room log cabins. These warm and cozy cabins sleep four comfortably. They also have covered porches which overlook picturesque Lake Marie.
Two rustic yurts and six deluxe yurts are also available in the campground (the deluxe yurts feature restrooms, a kitchenette, TV/VCR and beds). Showers and restrooms are centrally located. This beautiful and quiet campground has yet to be discovered by crowds of camping enthusiasts.
The park is centered in the stretch of towering sand dunes protected by the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. These dunes, many of which reach heights of 500 feet or more, are ideal for the off-road enthusiast, or for the person who enjoys the magnificent wonders of nature.
Despite its close proximity to Highway 101, Tugman State Park is relatively unknown -- a private hideaway on the wondrous south coast. Situated on Eel Lake near the community of Lakeside, Tugman offers 94 campsites with electric/water hookups tucked away in a mature stand of shore pines. The day-use area has a restroom and gazebo-style shelter surrounded by broad green lawns.
There's plenty of space for large and small groups to enjoy themselves. The waters of Eel Lake are outstanding for fishing, swimming, canoeing, sailing and boating. A trail around the south end of the lake allows hikers to get away from the developed area of the park and explore the lakes many inlets. Maybe you'll catch glimpses of osprey, crane, eagle, deer and other forest creatures as you walk through forests of spruce, cedar, fir, and alder.
The famous Oregon Dunes Recreation area is less than a mile away. Tugman is centrally located for visitors wishing to explore the Oregon coast from Reedsport to Coos Bay.
Eel Lake is brimming with fishing opportunities. The brush-lined shore, steep drop-off and underwater structure makes it the perfect lake for a bass boat and bass fishing. The lake has a good population of largemouth bass (some running up to five pounds), and other fish species include crappie, rainbow trout (which are stocked), steelhead, and coho salmon. All coho, even those under 15 inches must be released. There is a fully-accessible fishing dock at the day use area near the boat ramp. Trout and bass are often caught from the dock.
A hidden gem in the dense coastal forests of southwest Oregon, Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area may be hard to find, but it's well worth the 24-mile drive from Highway 101. The small parking and picnic area are located along the banks of Glenn and Silver Creeks and is shaded by large maple, alder, and Oregon myrtle trees. Hiking trails wind through scenic canyons to each of the waterfalls -- they plunge over sheer rock cliffs to moss covered boulders 100 feet below.
Hike to the top of Golden Falls to get an eagle's-eye view of the cascading waterfall and giant old-growth firs and cedars.
Situated in one of the most scenic areas on the Oregon coast, Sunset Bay State Park features beautiful sandy beaches protected by towering sea cliffs. Only a short walk from the beach, the campground has sites for tent camping and RV's, as well as cozy and comfortable yurts. Day-use and picnic facilities are located along the bay to allow easy access for beachcombing, fishing, swimming, and boating.
A network of hiking trails connects Sunset Bay with nearby Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks. Hiking these trails will give you a chance to experience pristine coastal forests, seasonal wildflowers and spectacular ocean vistas from atop the rugged cliffs and headlands. From points along the trail, you'll be treated to views of Gregory Point and the Cape Arago lighthouse.
A public golf course is located next to the park and the nearby fishing village of Charleston provides opportunities for crabbing, clamming and fishing. In fact, there are plenty of secret treasures in the Sunset Bay area.
Perched on rugged sandstone cliffs high above the ocean, Shore Acres State Park is an exciting and unexpected combination of beautiful natural and constructed features. Once the grand estate of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson, Shore Acres features lushly planted gardens with plants and flowers from all over the world. Something is in bloom almost every day of the year.
In the landscaped area you'll discover a formal garden, an oriental-style pond and two rose gardens which include an All American Rose Selection display. From Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, the gardens are ablaze with thousands of colored lights and holiday decorations put up by community volunteers and The Friends of Shore Acres in cooperation with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
After seeing the garden, you can stroll down a trail to a secluded ocean cove at Simpson Beach or skirt the cliff's edge to see spectacular ocean vistas which often include towering waves crashing against the shoreline after a storm and migrating grey whales. On the site of Simpson's vanished mansion, a fully enclosed observation building will allow you to view the ocean and protect you from the weather. The observation building has interpretive panels describing the history of the Simpson estate.
The Friends of Shore Acres operate an information and gift center at the entrance to the formal gardens where visitors can purchase items that relate to the historical and natural features of Shore Acres. The Friends also sponsor a variety of horticultural and cultural events at the garden throughout the year.
A large Monterey pine (pinus radiata) dates back to the historic Louis J. Simpson estate. A member of the national Big Tree Register, the pine is 95 feet tall with a 208-inch truck circumference and a 74-foot crown spread. It shares co-champion honors with a Monterey pine in Carmel, California, which has a smaller trunk, but a wider crown. It was probably planted around 1910.
Cape Arago may be the end of the road (the road out of Coos Bay goes no further), but it's really only the beginning if you want to explore the southern Oregon coast.
Located at the end of Cape Arago Highway about 15 miles southwest of Coos Bay, Cape Arago is a scenic headland jutting into the Pacific Ocean. Long used by native Americans, Cape Arago was first sighted by Europeans during one of Sir Francis Drake's expeditions in the late 1500s. Modern visitors can scan the horizon for migrating whales and other marine mammals, as well as fishing boats and ships entering and leaving nearby Coos Bay.
Seven Devils Wayside is the jumping-off point for sandy beach adventure. At this access point, you can travel several miles up and down the open beach. Agates are often the beachcombing goal of visitors to this out-of-the-way spot.
Bullards Beach is a large, family-oriented park located just two miles north of Bandon. The campground is nestled among shore pines and well protected from the strong ocean breezes. Besides three loops of campsites, the park boasts 13 yurts, making year-round camping a very popular choice. The horse camp features easy access to the beach and dunes for our equestrian campers.
Well known for excellent fishing and crabbing opportunities on the Coquille River, our boat launch facilities are well-used during the summer and fall seasons.
From the registration booth in the campground, take a walk or bike ride on the paved pathway to the beach (a little more than a mile). The path weaves through the open, grassy fields and lowland forest across a plain to the sandy dunes. All along the path are views of the beautiful Coquille River. Across the river is Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, sporting a variety of resident and migrating wildlife. Be sure to bring your binoculars!
The historic Coquille River Lighthouse is located at the end of the beach access road in the park. It's staffed from May through October with park volunteers who interpret the history of the area. From this point, there are 4.5 miles of open beach to explore. Bring your mountain bike to ride along the hard-packed sand along the edge of the surf, or just enjoy a leisurely stroll along the ocean shore.
And there's more nearby. Across the river is Bandon by the Sea. Visit a variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants in the town that is called "The Cranberry Capitol of the World," as well as the "The Storm Watching Capitol of the World." Learn the legend of Face Rock and access miles of shoreline at our day-use state parks on Beach Loop Drive. For more information on the local area, visit the Tourist Information Center in Old Town.
Coquille River Lighthouse
The tower is open. The lighthouse may be closed for short periods during restoration work. Call the park office at 541-347-3501 for current information.
mid-April - May: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, Wednesday through Sunday | June - September: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday and Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. | October: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.
For more Lighthouses see our Oregon Coast Lighthouse Article
There is an American Indian legend about this spot. Some say they hear a maiden's voice on the wind, and standing on the cliff overlooking the ocean you can easily pick out the face on Face Rock. There is a well-kept trail to the beach, and several rocky intertidal areas to explore at low tide. No beach camping from Bandon to Floras Lake.
Bandon awaits the beachcomber, the explorer, the artist and the dreamer. Located along Bandon's Beach Loop Road, there are several locations with beach access, picnicking and unsurpassed views. Parking is ample at all locations.No beach camping from Bandon to Floras Lake.
Hoffman Memorial Myrtle Grove is a shaded glen canopied with spectacular myrtlewood trees. Interpretive signing accompanies a self-guided tour brochure designed to help you experience this cool respite from the highway. There's no drinking water at the park. The myrtlewood tree is a relative of the bay laurel. Many people cook with myrtlewood leaves in place of bay leaves. Can you imagine the pungent aroma that will greet you as you enter this grove?
Coquille Myrtle Grove will bring out the Huckleberry Finn in you. Located along the Powers Highway, this secluded swimming hole has a shaded myrtlewood grove near the parking area and a sandy beach along the Coquille River just a short way down the hill. Bring your innertube and float along with the river's gentle current. No drinking water at site.
Use our extra-large, private, sheltered campsites as your base of operations while you enjoy the lighthouse and historic Hughes House tours.
The lighthouse and historic home are open from April to October. The lighthouse tour, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, costs $2/adult, $1 youth under 12, or $5/family. The Hughes House tour is conducted by knowledgeable volunteers and is free, but donations are gratefully accepted and help fund restoration and maintenance of the house.
The rest of the park, including the campground, is open year-round.
Cape Blanco is the most southern of Oregon's lights, and is the westernmost point in Oregon. Proposed in 1864, it was the first lighthouse in the state outfitted with a first-order Fresnel lens in 1870.
The first-order lens was replaced with a second-order lens in 1936.
Work off your picnic lunch by hiking over eight miles of trails with many spectacular ocean vistas, woodland and wetland settings. Bring your horse and enjoy 7 miles of horse trails and the facilities in our horse camp. The group camp holds a maximum of 50 people, and can accomodate up to 24 vehicles. This total may include five or more self-contained RVs. If you expect to have more than five RVs or 24 total vehicles, call the park. The group camp has four fire rings, four picnic tables, four water spigots and vault toilets. Showers are located in main campground 1/4 mi. away.
No matter how you camp with us, don't forget a sunset walk along the headland beaches to finish out your day.
For more Lighthouses see our Oregon Coast Lighthouse Article
A parking area with an expansive coastal vista stretching from Port Orford Heads to Orfords offshore reef and distant Cape Blanco and the lighthouse there. The beach is great for beachcombing; it's not unusual to find floats and agates here.
The Port Orford Lifeboat Station was constructed in 1934 by the Coast Guard to provide lifesaving service to the southern portion of the Oregon Coast until 1970. A museum, operated by the Point Orford Heritage Society, is now housed in the station. The museum is free (donations accepted, of course), and is open April-October, Thursday-Monday, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. A 36-foot motor lifeboat used at this station is on the premises and waiting to be restored.
The park has excellent hiking trails on the headlands affording spectacular views up and down the Pacific Coast.
There's a large resident blacktail deer population; please treat them as the wild animals they are.
Port Orford Lifeboat Station's history
The Port Orford Lifeboat Station (Coast Guard Station #318) was commissioned in 1934 to provide lifesaving service to the southern portion of the Oregon coast. The station served the area until its decommissioning in 1970. The station at Port Orford was one of the three earliest Coast Guard stations constructed in Oregon (earlier stations had been built by the U.S. Life-Saving Service). Neither of the other two Coast Guard-built station retains the degree of integrity as found here. Port Orford's station complex gracefully combines Cape Cod and classical building forms with Craftsman features, and with its cedar shingles, presents a style typical of the Pacific coast.
Lifeboat stations built during the 1920's through the 1940's represented the highest achievements in Coast Guard architecture. After World War II, station designs changed, making them more military in character. Although simple, the Port Orford station compound exemplifies Oregon's Coast Guard Stations and is the only Chatham-type station remaining on the coast. Other Chatham-type stations, virtual carbon copies, remain on the East Coast and Great Lakes. Those stations are finished in white clapboard, while the Port Orford station is finished in cedar shingles.
The two-story crew quarters and office building, the officer-in-charge residence, garage, storage building and pump house are still standing. Together with curbed driveways, areas of lawn and privet hedge surrounding the structures and the elevated paths and walkways, the ensemble conveys a particular sense of place and time.
Officer in charge quarters The officer-in-charge residence is sometimes referred to as the "keeper's cottage" as they were known in the U.S. Life-Saving Service. The USLSS merged with the Revenue Cutter Service in 1915 to form the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Port Orford station's officer-in-charge residence is virtually identical to the officer-in-charge residence at the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station in California. As with the crew quarters, the exterior of the Port Orford residence is cedar shingles, while the Point Reyes house is traditional clapboard, giving the Port Orford station a unique Pacific Northwest appearance. (text courtesy of the Point Orford Heritage Society)Lifesaving Station Museum | April-October, Thursday - Monday, 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
The park and campground are dominated by Humbug Mountain (elevation 1,756 feet) and surrounded by forested hills. The campground enjoys some of the warmest weather on the Oregon coast as the surrounding mountains offer protection from cool ocean breezes. Many visitors enjoy windsurfing and scuba diving. Hiking to the top of Humbug Mountain is a major activity.
Arizona Beach is a two-third mile stretch of sand book-ended by two rocky headlands. The headlands shelter the beach from prevailing winds, creating temperatures warm enough to give the site its name.
Mussel and Myrtle creeks flow through the park east of U.S. 101. The wetlands attract elk and a variety of waterfowl.
Within this historic site of a Rogue Indian war skirmish, the park contains the grave sites of the Geisel family. It is a peaceful, secluded picnic area to enjoy, while traveling along Highway 101.
Excellent walking and hiking trails overlooking pristine beaches and unusual sandstone rock formations sculpted by wind and waves. Single-lane gravel road entrance and exit road. No trailer turn-around in small gravel parking area.
Cape Sebastian ... the very name invokes images of early Spanish explorers and long journeys. The cape was named in honor of Saint Sebastian in 1603 by the Spanish navigator Sebastian Vizcaino. The most striking features of this park are its two parking vistas. The parking lots are over 200 feet above sea level. At the south parking vista, you can see up to 43 miles to the north with Humbug Mountain filling the view. Looking south, you can see nearly 50 miles toward Crescent City, California and Point Saint George Lighthouse.
Pistol River State Park is set in the dunes of the southern Oregon coast. The river supposedly got its name when a militia soldier lost his pistol in the river during the infamous Rogue River Indian War. In March of 1856, a decisive battle was fought here.
This corridor is a 12 mile, forested linear park with a rugged, steep coastline interrupted by small sand beaches. This park was named in honor of Samuel H. Boardman, the first Oregon Parks superintendent. He and others of his generation felt this shining green emerald coastline should be saved for the public. What gems they gave us: admire the 300-year old sitka spruce trees, gaze at the amazing Arch Rock and Natural Bridges, and walk the 27 miles of Oregon Coast Trail that weave through giant forests.
Seaside prairies, spectacular vistas, secluded cove beaches, rugged cliffs and forested sea stacks come one after the other at this park. Visit old mining sites. Stand and ponder the old shell middens and wonder what it was like to live in a native American village by the Pacific Ocean.
More about Sam Boardman
Sam Boardman, as he was affectionately called, was born in Massachusetts in 1874, had schooling in Wisconsin, migrated to Colorado as a young man, then to Oregon. He homesteaded along the Columbia River east of Arlington, and the town of Boardman is named for him. Having an affection for trees he pioneered in planting them in that treeless country, especially along the Columbia River Highway and the Old Oregon Trail. This tree planting along the shadeless highways later became a project of the Highway Department in which he took great satisfaction.
In 1919 he joined the Highway Department in the Mainten?ance Department, but his interest in preserving Oregon's scenic and recreational spots resulted in his appointment as the first State Parks Superintendent by the first State Parks Commission which had just been created by Governor I. L. Patterson.
In 1927 Oregon had 4,070 acres in forty-six small state parks; before retiring Mr. Boardman increased the number of parks to 181, and acreage to 66,000. The increment is due largely to his personal efforts in enthusing donors to make gifts and in urging the public money for land acquisition at a time when pressure to put all the limited funds in highway construction was great.
He had vision to see Oregon's need for preserving immediately her scenic resources. He predicted, if Oregon had sufficient state parks, a great growth in the tourist business and lived to see it become the state's third largest source of wealth. He had a keen appreciation of the beauties of ocean, forest and mountain, and with good judgment selected for acquisition as state parks these areas of outstanding qualifications. It is extraordinary how much he accomplished with very limited funds in those twenty-one years he was Superintendent of Parks. His efforts were directed largely at acquisition of land, believing that purchases should be made while the land was unspoiled and inexpensive and that development could wait until more funds were available. The phenomenal rise since then in the cost of potential park land has proven the wisdom of Boardman's foresight and policy.
Your first impression of Loeb may well be the scent of the myrtlewood forest ... a crisp, bay leaf aroma. The park is nestled in a grove of these lovely trees. Many of the trees in the park are well over 200 years old. The Chetco River swirls and dances just beyond the park.
Harris Beach was named after the Scottish pioneer George Harris who settled here in the late 1880s to raise sheep and cattle. The park boasts the largest island off the Oregon coast. Bird Island (also called Goat Island) is a National Wildlife Sanctuary and breeding site for such rare birds as the tufted puffin. The park offers sandy beaches interspersed with eroded sea stacks.
The park's beauty changes with the seasons. Many people are drawn to watch the powerful and dramatic winter storms; others seek the green and fragrant spring. Summer brings warm days and sunlit beaches while the fall brings clear cool days and often the best sunsets of the year. Wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant, with gray whales on their winter and spring migrations, Harbor seals, California sea lions, sea birds and the rich marine gardens make the park a fascinating stop.
McVay is a well-hidden park noted for surf fishing, clamming, whale watching, and plenty of space to walk on the beach. The large lawn area is great for blanket picnics. The park is elevated above the ocean. As you walk along the edge, you?ll often have eye-to-eye encounters with the seabirds catching the updrafts from the beach.
Winchuck provides parking area and access to the Winchuck River and ocean beach for fishing, exploring, clamming, strolling, photographing seascapes and observing marine life.
There is a multi-agency effort to restore a 1.2-acre estuary at the mouth of the Winchuck River. The estuary was carved from an upland portion of the 6.8-acre Winchuck State Recreation Site.
Besides benefiting many aquatic species with an enhanced habitat, the project will improve the Winchuck site by opening a larger area of the beach and improving viewpoints. Trail improvements and more landscaping are planned as soon as weather permits.
Stroll along the edge of the Winchuck River estuary until it joins the Pacific Ocean. Birds abound. Harbor seals and California sea lions surf and feed in this rich mix of fresh and salt water. Follow the trail through ancient driftwood logs into a fragile dune system filled with unique native plant species, miniature wetlands, and old-growth Sitka spruce trees.
In earlier times, this river marked the most northern territory and fishing village of the Tolowa Indian tribe. Crissey Field provides the first available beach access north of the California-Oregon border. The park is named for W.L. (Bill) Crissey, a pre-World War II Harbor lily bulb grower.