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Posts Tagged ‘Central Oregon Coast natural areas’

Last week we took a trip north to Lincoln City. Just 200 miles, with only three large towns along the way, we managed to take ten hours getting there.

Carter Lake Rhododendrons © SR Euston

We don’t screech to a halt at every roadside tourist attraction though there are plenty. Instead, our weakness is the natural places—parks and waysides. And there are plenty of them too from Port Orford to Lincoln City.

Muriel Ponsler SSV © SR Euston

On other trips we’ve stopped at every wayside from Cape Blanco to Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area just north of Florence. Today we made only a brief visit to Carter Lake to take an up-close look at the Dunes and the ocean.

Neptune SSV © SR Euston

It was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny. Rhododendrons bloomed in a wild profusion of purple and pink and white. Foxgloves, lupine, iris, and tansies lined the roadsides. And of course in so many places the central Oregon coast line itself is spectacular and beach accessible.

To give you a sense of our choices: There are 22 public recreation areas between Florence and Lincoln City, including three lighthouses (Heceta Head, just north of Florence, is said to be the West Coast’s most photographed lighthouse), four interpretive centers (including the spanking new Beaver Pond State Natural Area), multiple campgrounds, and pullouts too numerous to count.

Bob Creek © SR Euston

We stopped at six separate areas between mileposts 175.4 and 166.9 (mileposts head north to south). Each offered a separate experience of the Oregon Coast’s wild beauty.

Capt. Cook Trail, Cape Perpetua © SR Euston

At Muriel Ponsler State Scenic View we walked a long sand and cobble beach. At Rock Creek Campground we meandered up a damp creekside trail among magnificent old Douglas firs.  At Bob Creek Beach Access we ate lunch at a grassy overlook we shared with other sun-seeking diners. At Cummins Ridge, we took a short hike on the only trail through the Cummins Ridge wilderness. At Neptune we walked down steep wood stairs to the beach below. And at Cape Perpetua we toured the interpretative center, hiked down the bluff and checked out some tide pools.

All this, mind you, in less than ten miles. So much to see, so little time.

For maps and more information see: www.visittheoregoncoast.com

Tidepools, Cape Perpetua

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