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North Oregon Coast State Parks
Oregon Coast Notes - News

StateParksNorthBradley State Scenic Viewpoint

This park was one of the first parcels donated as park land to the Oregon Highway Commission in 1922. One of the few rest stops along Highway 30, you'll find a restroom, monument, and a wondrous Douglas fir forest overlooking the Columbia River.

Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens was the primary military defense installation in the three fort Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River (Forts Canby and Columbia in Washington were the other two). The fort served for 84 years, beginning with the Civil War and closing at the end of World War II. Today, Fort Stevens has grown into a 3,700 acre park offering exploration of history, nature, and recreational opportunities.

And you can help fund historic programs and restoration at the park! The Friends of Old Fort Stevens will run Wood on Wheels this summer, selling and delivering firewood right to your site. Check it out when you arrive!

Camping, beachcombing, freshwater lake swimming, trails, wildlife viewing, an historic shipwreck and an historic military area make Fort Stevens a uniquely diversified park. A network of nine miles of bicycle trails and six miles of hiking trails allow you to explore the park through spruce and hemlock forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine.

Coffenbury Lake has two swimming areas, a picnic area, restrooms, and a boat ramp (10 mph boating speed limit). Two other smaller lakes offer boat ramps for fishing and canoeing.

Throughout the year, you can browse through displays dating back to the Civil War at the museum, visit the only enclosed Civil War earthworks site on the west coast, and explore the gun batteries.

During the summer, watch the blacksmiths work, tour a rare 90-year old underground gun battery that served as a World War II command center, and take a truck tour of the fortifications spanning the Spanish-American War and World War II (tour available at a nominal charge).

Del Rey Beach State Park

The ocean is a just a short walk from Del Rey's quiet, secluded parking area. If ever there was a place to play, fly a kite, build a sandcastle or picnic, this is it. The sunsets can be spectacular, too.

Saddle Mountain State Natural Area

Two and a half miles. That's all it is from the parking lot (elev. 1,650') to the summit of Saddle Mountain (elev. 3,283'). Be prepared to marvel at the sheer volume of natural beauty packed onto the mountain, from a mature forest setting to fields of wildflowers to an open rocky summit. The view from the top of the mountain is one that cannot be described ... it must be experienced.

The trip to the top isn't an everyday stroll through the woods, though. Come prepared with water and layer your clothing. The temperature is very different at the summit than in the parking lot. Wear appropriate shoes for rough terrain and be prepared for some steep grades, which make for interesting climbing. A nice walking stick and friend's hand would be helpful in many areas. As you climb, though, remember to look up and out at the landscape before you. Also look down at the wild floral show that may only exist at that elevation. Take frequent breaks and enjoy this unique landscape as well as the beauty of the forest below you.

Ecola State Park

One of Ecola State Park's first attractions was a beached whale. In 1806, Capt. William Clark and twelve members of the Corps of Discovery climbed over rocky headlands and fought their way through thick shrubs and trees to get to the whale in what is now Ecola State Park. Today, a paved road from Cannon Beach makes your trek to the park much easier. Winding your way through towering Sitka spruce, you suddenly emerge upon a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. Be sure to have your camera ready.

Ecola State Park offers year-round recreation for all types of modern day explorers. Stop for a picnic to feed your hungry adventurers before taking to the many miles of trails. At Indian Beach you can begin your own expedition on The Clatsop Loop Trail [1.4 MB Acrobat file], a new interpretive trail you that gives you the chance to walk in the footsteps of Capt. Clark and his men.

There's more to the park than this rich history. Surfers ride the waves at Indian Beach and tide pools await your discovery. Keep a watchful eye open for the many species of wildlife and birds that call Ecola home. Spot migrating gray whales during winter and spring. And after a long day of exploration, stop for an overnight rest on Tillamook Head in the park's new primitive cabins, (cabins are small and very primitive) a 1.5 mile hike from the Indian Beach trailhead.

Tolovana Beach State Park

After a long day of shopping in Cannon Beach's boutiques, head for the heart of the city: Tolovana Wayside. Just a few steps down from the parking lot, you're on the beach with a spectacular view of Haystack Rock. A short walk down this lovely beach and you'll be at the rock's base. An amazing natural formation, many visitors feel the need for a closer look (but please don't climb!). Enjoy the beauty of the formation, tidepools around the base and abundance of wildlife -- the area is a wildlife refuge.

Arcadia Beach State Park

A shady spot, just off of the highway and a few feet from the sandy ocean beach. Take a lunch break on your way north or south on Highway 101. Kick off your shoes and leave them in the car ... you'll want to feel the sand between your toes and the waves lapping at your ankles.

Hug Point State Park

Just south of Cannon Beach, this little wayside gives you easy access to the beach and a peek at some interesting history. Imagine travelling by stagecoach along the beach (before the highway was built, the beach was the only way to go). North of the parking area you can still walk along the original trail carved into the point by the stagecoaches. The wayside was named after this trail because it hugs the point. Looking further north, Haystack Rock-one of the most identifiable landmarks along the coastline is easily visible.

Caution to visitors; be aware of the tide! It is possible to become stranded at high tide when exploring the point. Take a look at the stagecoach trail, the view of Haystack Rock and the two caves around the point, but have a plan. Pick up a tide book at one of the local shops: have fun and be safe.

Oswald West State Park

Step out of your vehicle and into a place with natural beauty that truly inspires. Just a quarter mile from any of the parking areas to the beach, yet the rigors of everyday life are stripped away by the time your feet hit the sand. Although the walk is short, there are several different trails to the beach and lead you to the Cape Falcon overlook or to the Oregon Coast Trail. Be sure to pick up a map on the way into the park. All of the trails to the beach are through a mature forest; one trail follows the winding path of the Short Sands creek. This trail gives way to the spectacular view of the ocean and the creek meeting. This is your first glimpse of the ocean and Short Sands beach.

The beach is nestled in a cove that provides you with a feeling of total privacy. Popular with surfboarders and boogie boarders, the beach is always alive with activity. Surrounded by the mountains, the beach at Oswald West gives you a sense of being transported away from the trials of everyday life. Lose yourself...

Nehalem bay State Park

Imagine waking up to the song of the seagull, spending your afternoon on a kayak trip around Nehalem Bay, then taking a short walk over the dunes to the beach. There you'll sit with a blanket and watch the sun set over the ocean in the shadow of Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain. Finally, snuggle down for the night while the ocean waves sing you a lullaby. This is Nehalem Bay State Park.

Many visitors find the serenity of Nehalem Bay State Park to be the most attractive feature. If you look closer you'll find a lot of ways to keep busy, though. Crabbing and fishing on Nehalem Bay are popular. For a breathtaking view of the bay, fitness and wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the 1.75 mile bike trail that circles the park airplane landing strip. Along this route and in the campground itself, you're likely to see deer grazing, a herd of elk, or a coyote crossing the road. The park is also graced with a variety of birds.

Fine dining and local boutiques in the neighboring communities of Manzanita and Nehalem offer a change of scenery from the park setting. Afternoon or moonlit walks on the beach and down to the end of the jetty enhance the serenity of this park.

Make Nehalem Bay State Park a planned destination in your vacation schedule.

Manhattan Beach State Park

You'll find this day-use park just off of Highway 101 north of Rockaway. Picnic tables are nestled into small cul-de-sacs surrounded by shore pine to provide a break from the wind. After a leisurely lunch, kick off your shoes and take the short walk down the access trail to the ocean beach. A thoroughly relaxing spot.

Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint

A must-see when driving the Three Capes Scenic route, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is situated on a headland 200 feet above the ocean. Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda are the other two capes on this route. Cape Meares provides an excellent view of the largest colony of nesting common murres (the site is one of the most populous colonies of nesting sea birds on the continent). Bald eagles and a peregrine falcon have also been known to nest near here.

The park features tours of an 1890s lighthouse, the Sallie Jacobson Interpretive kiosk and interpretive panels at key viewpoints. Cape Meares has over 3 miles of hiking trails and a mile-long walking trail that winds through old-growth spruce trees (including the uniquely-shaped Octopus Tree). In winter and spring, this park is an excellent location for viewing whale migrations.

Oceanside Beach State Park

Located in the center of the community of Oceanside, this park offers some of the best agate hunting during the winter season when the sand is stripped away by ocean currents. During the summer season, the park is a popular place to beachcomb, explore tidepools and surf.

The sky above the park is occasionally filled with colorful hang gliders, paragliders and kites.

Munson Creek Falls State Park

The park is home to ancient western red cedar and Sitka spruce. An important salmon spawning ground, Munson Creek Falls tumbles 319', making it the tallest waterfall in the Coast Range. A trail system winds through the hills to the waterfall.

Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout State Park can be reached by traveling an hour and a half west of Portland through the scenic Wilson River pass. Along the way, stop and enjoy waterfalls, scenic views and some great fishing.

A popular campground and day-use area, Cape Lookout is located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean, giving you a terrific view of the ocean with easy access to the beach. Beachcombing is popular here, and the park is reputedly a good place to find glass floats. More than eight miles of hiking and walking trails wind through a lush old-growth forest. The Cape Lookout trail follows the headland for more than 2 miles. A bench is located at the end of the trail. Enjoy the view! You might see a whale or two along with other wildlife.

Two walking trails -- a nature trail and the Jackson Creek trail -- are perfect for a shorter jaunt. The nature trail gives you a close-up view of native trees and other plants. Numbered markers are keyed to a trail guide. The Jackson Creek trail starts with an interpretive panel describing the local salmon restoration project.

Be sure to look up when you visit this park ... hang gliders and paragliders fill the air with colorful wings as they catch thermals and rise to dizzying heights. Along with Cape Kiwanda and Cape Meares, Lookout is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route.

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout). Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but it's one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action. Pacific City is the home of the Pacific Dory Fleet. South of Cape Kiwanda is the dory boat launching area. North of Cape Kiwanda to Tierra Del Mar is a stretch of beach popular with picnickers. Kiwanda provides great hang gliding and kite flying opportunities.

Bob Straub State Park

This park is located in Pacific City and provides beach access, parking, and restrooms. It's a nice place to go for a walk on the beach and explore the Nestucca sand spit. The Nestucca River is legendary for 50 pound Chinook salmon.

Neskowin Beach State Park

The long beach and Cascade headland are delightfully pristine. In the town of Neskowin, you'll find a general store, restaurant and two golf courses amid the posh cottages. A bit north, you can canoe and kayak on the relatively undeveloped estuary of Nestucca Bay. The Cascade Head bike trail is conveniently close. Walk the Cascade Head Trail which skirts Neskowin and passes through magnificent stands of spruce and ocean views (who knows ... you may catch a glimpse of some elk).

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