|Oregon Coast Notes|
|Central Oregon Coast State Parks|
|Oregon Coast Notes - News|
Enjoy your drive through this scenic corridor surrounding Highway 18. Along the way, there's a place to pull off, stretch your legs and enjoy a spot of lunch amid a captivating ancient forest. If the time is right, get ready for some exciting wildlife viewing. A weekday would be the most peaceful, and give you a chance to discover the old growth Douglas-fir trees along the Salmon River. Stay alert for salmon, deer and Roosevelt elk. Exactly one mile east of the park entrance is a pull-out with a short trail leading to a swimming hole beneath more ancient trees.
A fine place for a romantic stroll with tidepools, islands, and the headland with its hidden cove. Sailboarders come from everywhere! When Lincoln City's beaches are crowded or windy, this sheltered spot just north of town is surprisingly quiet. A short path descends to the beach at the pebbly mouth of a lazy little creek. The north beach is topped by a jumble of quaint old cottages until the beach narrows to the massive Cascade Head.
Fragments of lava form ragged islands where comic, long-necked cormorants dry their black wings atop guano-stained roosts. At low tide it's possible to clamber around the headland's tip to a secret cove and beach. Don't linger too long or you'll have to wait hours until the next low tide to get out!
With downtown Lincoln City mere minutes away, you can glide quietly by canoe or kayak on the lake while you watch for coots, loons, ducks, cormorants, bald eagles, and grebes. As the only Oregon coast campground located in the midst of a city, the lake is a center of summertime activity. Boaters, skiers, swimmers, and personal watercraft users share the water. Kayak tours of the lake are scheduled in the summer (we provide the kayak).
The nearby outlet mall, one of the largest in Oregon, is a short drive away. You'll find the campground on the west shore, and the East Devil's Lake day-use area just down the road.
Summer 2010 Kayak Tours
The shortest river in the world, D River flows a mere 120 feet from Devils Lake into the roaring ocean. The park is right off the highway with easy access to a busy -- and reliably windy --beach. D River Wayside is home to a pair of the world?s largest kite festivals every spring and fall which gives Lincoln City the name Kite Capital of the World.
It's not your imagination ... those really are seal heads peering at you from the surf! A short paved trail descends from the parking and picnic area through the shore pine forest to a soft sand beach flanked by crumbling orange sandstone bluffs. Wetsuit-clad surfers often catch waves here in the mornings. As you hike to the right along the beach, the horizon is dominated by the dark green cape of Cascade Head. In case you decide to venture onward, please don�t disturb the sea lions found at the tip of the four mile Salishan Spit.
Where the creek and ocean meet, you'll find ingredients that make the spirit soar. Discover this park's perfect wind-sheltered picnic areas. In case of rain, head for the covered picnic shelter. Walk the wooden footbridges arching through the Sitka spruce, western hemlock, shore pine and alder forest. At the cliff-rimmed beach, a lazy creek flows into the sea, cutting through an enchanting scenic ocean cove. This park has some of the best birdwatching and tidepooling on the coast.
A miraculous and rugged, basalt-rimmed bay, Boiler Bay is a great place to watch wild surf action on the rocky spurs. This splendid panoramic viewpoint presents a good opportunity to see migrating and resident gray whales. Take your binoculars -- this is one of the best sites in Oregon to see ocean-going birds (like shearwaters, jaegers, albatrosses, grebes, pelicans, loons, oystercatchers and murrelets). In 1910, an explosion sank the J. Marhoffer, and you can see the ship's boiler at low-tide. A short, rough trail takes you to some of Oregon's richest tide pools.
Located along the seawall in Depoe Bay, the Whale Watching Center is dedicated to sharing information about whales. The center is home to the Whale Watching Spoken Here program, which sponsors the winter and spring break whale watching weeks. Gray whales migrate past the Oregon Coast on their way to and from the waters off Alaska and Mexico.
The center includes exhibits on the history and behaviors of whales and a free theater showing whale movies.
Rocky Creek is a spectacular ocean-front park on a forested bluff overlooking the ocean. Offshore rocks provide spectacular wave action in storms and are nesting areas for birds and sea lions. The viewpoint is an official Whale Spoken Here site for watching migrating and resident gray whales.
Soak in the view from 500' above the ocean on the breathtaking crescent sweep of white sandy beach stretching to the south. Cape Foulweather is stunning and inspirational with its picturesque promontory. This popular whale watching spot also provides a good view of the Devil's Punchbowl environs. Imagine Captain Cook's first sighting on that stormy March day in 1778. The adjacent gift shop is privately owned
Surfers and surf watchers energize this area! During winter storms, water from the restless ocean slams with a thundering roar into a hollow rock formation shaped like a huge punch bowl. The surf churns, foams, and swirls as it mixes a violent brew. The punch bowl was probably created by the collapse of the roof over two sea caves, then shaped by wave action. The park is a popular whale watching site and displays an intriguing geology. This is a scenic picnic spot atop the undulating rocky shoreline. Don't forget to explore the tidepools.
Beverly Beach is popular for a reason! Like magic, a well-known walkway goes under the highway and emerges to the long expanse of sandy beach extending from Yaquina Head (you can see the lighthouse from here) to the headlands of Otter Rock. When the weather cooperates, kites color the air and whip in the wind. Bring a bucket and build a sand castle! Surfers often head to the north beach, while folks looking for fossils head south.
A few steps from the ocean you'll find the forest-sheltered campground. Giant, wind-sculpted trees and nurse logs surround the campsites strung along pebbly Spencer Creek. There is a Visitors Information Center located near the registration booth where you can also purchase books,souvenirs or educational toys. The children's playground is located next to the program area. The picnic area is a grassy, tree-lined spot protected from summer winds by a charming yurt group meeting hall. It's hard to believe all this is a few minutes drive from the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Yaquina Head and other prime attractions.
Diggers, this park's for you! Also known as a surfers paradise, if you plan to visit prime Newport attractions like the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Center, you must stop in for a refreshing picnic at Agate Beach. A tunnel leads to the invigorating ocean beach and day-use area. If you walk through this tunnel, you might imagine Newport farmers many years ago leading cattle westward through this tunnel to the ocean salt.
Yaquina Bay State Park is located in Newport at the north end of Yaquina Bay near its outlet to the Pacific Ocean. The bluff is forested with spruce and pine, but the real star is the historic lighthouse. The lighthouse -- later used as a Coast Guard Lifeboat Station -- has been restored and is open to the public. Attractions nearby include the historic Newport bayfront, Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
On the highway between Newport and Corvallis, this land works equally well as a highway rest stop and tree preserve. Fruit trees are still found on the south side. Four picnic tables border a spacious, grassy meadow. A small stream flows from the northeast through the fir forest to join the Tumtum River.
Note: See Vital Stats section below for pet friendly yurt information. Pilot project extended through Sept. 30, 2010.
South Beach State Park and the surrounding areas offer a variety of recreational opportunities.
One of the most exciting additions to the program at South Beach: kayak tours. Folks who register for the activity will launch from nearby Ona Beach (5 miles south) and spend two hours exploring the fascinating Beaver Creek area with a guide.
Other activities around the park include fishing, crabbing, boating, windsurfing and beachcombing. Attractions nearby include the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, marine life exhibits at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
These are just a few of the opportunities you will encounter when you visit and explore the central Oregon coast.
Kayak Tours are offered starting July 4 Thru Labor day weekend. No experience necessary. South Beach State Park supplies the kayaks, paddles,life-jackets (PFDs), and interpretive host guides. Minimum age is 6.Paddlers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. $15 per person(subject to change). All trips start at the Hospitality Center at South Beach State Park.All trips include about 2 hours of paddling. Reservations strongly recommended. Reservations can be made beginning June 1, 2010 by calling the Hospitality Center at 541-867-6590 or by visiting in person.
One rustic yurt, site A-30, is pet friendly during a pilot project that ends Sept. 30, 2010. To reserve, call 1-800-452-5687. An extra fee of $10 per night will be charged. A limit of two pets will be in effect. "Pets" are defined as dogs or cats.
Lost Creek State Park is located seven miles south of Newport, Oregon. The park is developed for picnicking and beach access. Great for beachcombing, whale watching and incredible sunsets.
Bring your binoculars, boots or small boat to Beaver Creek. This new park offers paddling, bird watching, walks in the marshland and hiking in upland meadows. Put in your kayak or canoe at the Ona Beach launch. The two-mile paddle meanders up the Beaver Creek valley with views of the surrounding Sitka spruce and alder forested hills. Look for beaver, river otter, muskrat and nutria. If you're lucky, you may see a Roosevelt elk or black-tailed deer.
Ona Beach State Park is located 8 miles south of Newport, Oregon. The park is a fine, forested ocean flat now developed for extensive daytime shore use. Easy access for beachcombing and great for large picnic gatherings.
Seal Rock State Wayside has large off-shore rock formations which are the habitat of seals, sea lions, sea birds and other marine life. The wayside includes interesting tidepools as well as excellent ocean views and a sandy beach. Developed for day-use, the picnic area is in a pleasant stand of shore pine, spruce and salal.
Driftwood Beach State Wayside provides access to the ocean and picnic facilities scattered among the shore pine. The area offers a wide, flat, sandy
The Historic Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center in Waldport was constructed by the Oregon Department of Transportation as part of the bridge replacement project. It's operated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department with help from the Waldport Chamber of Commerce. There are daily bridge tours during the summer (at 2 p.m.) led by a park naturalist. The tours cover the story of the bridge replacement.
Clamming and crabbing demonstrations are led by guides from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. A schedule is usually posted in the Interpretive Center during the visitor season. Locations and times vary with the tides.
Governor Patterson State Park is a beachcomber's delight. ... miles of flat, sandy beach and just a short hike from the mouth of Alsea Bay where you can windsurf, crab, or just watch the seals. Excellent whale and storm watching. Sunsets are beautiful here and it's a great place to take photos.
W.B. Nelson provides a small freshwater lake and fishing dock. Bass and stocked pan-sized trout are the most common fish. The area is known for abundant waterfowl. Adjacent to the Alsea River, there's a scenic wetland area. A free fishing day is held every year in May.
A few miles south of Waldport and north of Yachats on the central coast, this small, exquisite destination campground is right alongside miles of broad, sandy beach that makes the park perfect for kite flying and watching. Tent and electric sites accommodate one vehicle per site. Every site is mere seconds from the beach, which makes the park perfect for watching storms, sunsets and whales.
Recent erosion at the park has prompted us to change some trails and start an erosion control program. Read the erosion control brochure - 95k (Acrobat required).
Beachside is an excellent mid-point stop as you take a jaunt on the coast. Within 30 miles in either direction, you'll find visitor centers, tide pools, hiking and driving tours, three lighthouses, crabbing, clamming, fishing, aquarium and science centers.
Seasonal Campground Closure: The campground closes Oct. 31 for the winter.
An excellent whale watching and photography viewpoint. Walk the historic 804 Trail (.75 miles one-way with resting benches scattered along the way). The park is known for tidepooling, rock fishing and the yearly smelt run (smelt are small, silvery relatives of salmon). Breathtaking sunsets.
In the heart of Yachats, turn west on 2nd Street. The road makes a small loop, offering a serene view of the Yachats river as it meets the Pacific Ocean. Park and see the wild waves and gray whale migration. Rock and salmon fishing and tidepools bring people back to this park again and again. Plenty of resting benches and picnic tables.
South of Yachats, the road makes a one-mile loop, exposing one of the most scenic viewpoints on the coast: the Yachats Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Park along the loop and enjoy access to the beach, tidepools, blowholes, summer sunsets and whale watching.
Benches set on a cliff above the beach give you an excellent view of Cumming Creek, wildlife and the rock-pounding waves. From this location, you can watch for whales, see a variety of birds, sea lions and the occasional deer in the creek. The creek is also a great place to look for agates. At low tide you can walk to the south to see a natural cave and tidepools.
Stonefield has easy beach access. Tenmile Creek is just to the north. A great place to sit in the sun and watch for whales.
Picnicking with whale watching, beachcombing and a view of the beach. There are approximately five miles of sandy beach with China Creek to the south of the park. J.C Ponsler donated the land in 1938 in memory of his wife, Muriel.
Tokatee Klootchman sits a few feet above the ocean with an excellent view. A great place to watch for whales.
Washburne is located on the east side of Highway 101 with a buffer of native plants between you and the highway. The campsites are spacious. There are several trails of varying difficulty leading from the campsites to the beach, wildlife viewing areas, and second-growth forests.
A walking trail leads you under the highway to a five-mile sandy beach and a day-use area, where you'll find space to watch whales, hunt agates, beachcomb, and picnic. Another trail connects you to the Heceta Head trail, which you can use to reach the historic Heceta Head lighthouse (check the Heceta Head Lighthouse web page for information on tours).
In the campground at night, you can hear the pounding surf. There is a creek running through the campground, and elk have been known to wander through. Wild rhododendrons bloom in spring.
Heceta Head State Park (which includes Devils Elbow State Park) is located in a cove at the mouth of Cape Creek. There are picnic tables sheltered from the wind and a great view of the ocean. A short trail leads to the historic Heceta Head lighthouse and lighthouse keeper's house. A recently-completed trail gives you a spectacular view of the coast north to Cape Perpetua.
Heceta Head trail is part of a 7-mile network. Trails of varying difficulty feature beach and wildlife viewing areas. Wildlife refuge islands feature a view of puffins, cormorants, gulls, and other bird nesting areas. Sea lions and whales can be seen from the beach and cliff-top lighthouse.
On the west side of 1,000-foot-high Heceta Head, 205 feet above the ocean, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light at top of 56-foot tower was illuminated in 1894; the automated beacon, seen 21 miles from land, is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast. The historic assistant lighthouse keeper's house (Heceta House; built 1893) offers bed and breakfast rentals and facilities for group events; call (541) 547-3696 for info.
Darlingtonia State Natural Site is the only Oregon state park property dedicated to the protection of a single plant species. Concurrently, the plants it protects are the only carnivorous flora in the system.
This 18-acre botanical park provides parking and a boardwalk trail out into a fen that is home to Darlingtonia californica. Also called a cobra lily, the rare, strangely-shaped plant is the only member of the pitcher plant family (Sarraceniaceae) in Oregon.
What visitors see in this little garden of multi-colored horrors (for insects), is a plant with yellowish green hooded leaves that form erect, 10 to 20-inch-high hollow tubes. On top, the leaves are often purplish to reddish mottled with transparent areas. A hidden opening into the stalk is bordered by a large, green, mustache-shaped appendage beneath the curved hood of the leaf. Nectar inside the plant's hidden opening attracts the insects. Once inside, an insect becomes confused by the transparent areas that appear like exits. It's all "downhill" for the insect from that point as it eventually drops into the lower part of the tube, is trapped by downward-pointed hairs and falls into a pool of water at the bottom of the stalk. Bacteria in the water decompose it into nitrogen that is then absorbed by the plant.
Darlingtonia californica has flowers with five purple petals (surrounded by yellow sepals) that bloom in the spring. Associated species include an orchid, California lady's slipper, and two lilies, Tofieldia and Narthecium.
Darlingtonia plants are found in serpentine soils and sphagnum fens arising from wet sands on coastal plains. Collecting Darlingtonia samples is illegal in Oregon.
Besides its parking area and boardwalk, Darlingtonia State Natural Site offers a small picnic area. Nearby scenery includes a lush assortment of vegetation that includes rhododendron, spruce, cedar and shore pine.
Situated half way up the Oregon coast and three miles south of Florence on scenic Highway 101 is the second largest overnight camp in the state. There are two miles of sand dunes between the park and the ocean. Two natural freshwater lakes are within the park. Cleawox -- which is great for swimming -- and Woahink, which has a public boat ramp, is used for all water sports. Rent a canoe and explore the lake.
During Discovery Season (October 1 to April 30 every year), you can access the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area directly from your campsite in H loop of the campground. Reservations are recommended for winter holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Spring brings out the pink rhododendrons. Come summertime, this is a great place for family reunions. The fall huckleberries and blackberries are ripe for the picking. During the winter, off-road vehicle users can access the sand dunes from H Loop. This a camp for all seasons.
Note: From May 1-Sept. 30 (high season), unloading, starting the engines, operating, or staging of ATVS in the park or campground loops is prohibited.