Oregon Coast Events Calendar


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State Parks

Gotta love the Oregon coast -- and its parks

by Brian Cantwell for the Seattle Times

Seattle Times PhotoIf you're pondering a camping destination for the summer, consider this fact, which I came to recognize somewhere between the long, curving bridge above the trees in Oswald West State Park and the turnoff for Nehalem Bay: The Oregon coast has a boatload of state parks.

Along the roughly 340-mile Pacific coastline of Oregon, a quick count of state parks and recreation sites on our National Geographic waterproof road map and travel guide showed at least 64, from Astoria to Brookings -- 18 with campgrounds.

I've driven most of America's Pacific Coast, from Neah Bay to San Diego, and for my money this stretch of rugged, saltwashed Oregon is the most scenic and visitor friendly coastline in the West.

Oswald West State Park makes the list of World's best eco-friendly beaches on CNN Travel
Cannon Beach

By Julie Knapp for the Mother Nature Network

Short Sands Beach: Oswald West State Park

oswaldMany trails lead to the beach in Oswald West State Park, and they all wind through an amazing forest of towering mature trees. Expect to see surfers toting their boards to the waves.

New 375 acre Oregon Coast State Natural Area Opening

BEAVERCREEKBring 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.

North Oregon Coast State Parks

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.

Central Oregon Coast State Parks


H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor

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.

Roads End State Park

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!

Southern Oregon Coast State Parks


Bolon Island Tideways State Scenic Corridor

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.

Umpqua State Scenic Corridor

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  

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.

Carnivorous Plants on the Oregon Coast? Yep, we got 'em

CobraPlantThe boardwalk trail is less than a mile long and as it winds its way through this prehistoric bog you expect to see a dinosaur around every corner. Instead of dinosaurs the boardwalk trail leads you into a fen that is home to Darlingtonia californica. Also called pitcher plant or cobra lily, the rare, strangely-shaped plant is the only member of the pitcher plant family (Sarraceniaceae) in Oregon.

Year Round Happenings at Shore Acres State Park
Coos Bay - North Bend - Charleston

Once the grand estate of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson, Shore Acres features 5 acres of lushly planted gardens with plants and flowers from all over the world. Something is in bloom almost every day of the year. 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. . During autumn, winter and spring, visitors gather on the tall pondsandstone cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean for storm watching and observation of the gray whale migration.

In the landscaped area you'll discover a formal garden, an oriental-style pond and two rose gardens. Walk to the back of the park near the moon bridge to visit the Japanese Choshi Garden, landscaped with irises, bamboo and other plantings.