Hit the Trails! Six Hiking Destinations to Explore on Oregon’s Adventure Coast

Posted by TravelCoosBay on April 28, 2016

Top 6 Hiking Spots

There is no time like spring and summer on the Oregon Coast!  The warmer, mild weather makes it an ideal time to pack your bag, pop on your hiking boots, and hit the trail! If nature and great exercise are what you’re after, then look no further. Here are 6 Great Hiking Destinations in Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston.

Photographer: Bill Grami

Photographer: Bill Grami

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

40 miles of towering wind-sculpted sand dunes makes this the perfect location for hiking and photo opportunities. If you are looking for a great hike then you need to try Bluebill trail! Located off Horsfall Road , this trail loops around a seasonal lake which is home to different species of birds and aquatic animals. Bring your camera and binoculars to view the sights!

“We could not get enough of this place!!!!! First off, we under-estimated the massive size of the dunes and set off on a picnic lunch hike on the “beach” with our lunch, 1 liter of water for 2 of us and a bottle of wine. After hiking for 1.5 miles on the dunes, the beach was still no-where in site, our water was gone, and we realized ( should have read the sign at the beginning of the trail) that the ocean was in fact another 1.5 miles over the dunes. With mainly wine as a re-hydration liquid we decided to abort the long, hot hike and headed back to our vehicle. The following day we hiked once again on the dunes this time with plenty of water and the next day we rented quads and explored the dunes. Soooooo amazing.”

South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

The trails at South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (SSNERR) are one of Oregon’s best kept secrets. In addition to it’s unbeatable natural surroundings, SSNERR hikers have access to some of the best birding spots that Oregon has to offer, so be sure to bring binoculars with you! We recommend downloading a free trail map if you’re planning to make the trek!

“Beautiful. Lots of cool mushrooms to discover if your very observant. If you go you must walk through the tunnel trail. Perfect trail for a small day hike.”

“This is a well-maintained fairly heavily trafficked trail that allows visitors to view a variety of habitat types. There are tons of mushrooms and other tiny hidden gems, some picturesque scenes of the slough, and a neat walk through a more marshy area with a raised wood trail. Its worth a visit, especially if you like to take photos, but not very strenuous.”

Sunset Bay State Park

Hiking, beaches, camping, fishing… these are just a few of the things that await you at Sunset Bay State Park. Hiking trails connect Sunset Bay to Cape Arago and Shore Acres, so you can actually make your way from one park to another and get the best of both worlds! While you’re making your way through the trail be sure to stop and enjoy the views of Gregory Point and Cape Arago Lighthouse.

“One of the most stunning trails I have ever been on. A easy walk especially with kids with plenty of beautiful vistas of the ocean and rock formations. You need to walk along the side of the road for 100 feet to continue the coastal walk. WOW!!!!”

“Just beautiful and well maintained”

Cape Arago State Park

This scenic, oceanfront trail is the perfect option for anyone looking to catch a glimpse of wildlife, do a little fishing, or just get some serious hiking time in. Located 15 minutes from Coos Bay, this trail provides an unbeatable opportunity to lose yourself in nature.

Note: the trail is closed March 1- June 30 to protect seal pups (and they need protecting).

“I live in coos bay, and visit the parks year round. There’s no better place to feel the power of the ocean than here on a stormy day. Also seal and whale watching, and some hiking here. If you visit this area, make the 15 minute trip out of the city of coos bay to come here. It’s beautiful!”

“You won’t want to miss hiking around here and to see this unique ocean shore. It is the Oregon Coast at its finest.”

Shore Acres State Park

Rugged sandstone cliffs provide the ideal hiking spot in this stunning State Park. Furthermore, Shore Acres offers perfect spots to picnic and enjoy the view midway through the hiking trail. Be sure to bring a camera with you for the all but certain wildlife photo opportunities you’ll encounter.

“Everything about this area is beautiful from the hiking trails to the gardens. Amazing ocean views, interesting history, marine wildlife and even views of the Coquille lighthouse. They have a wonderful gift shop too and kind and helpful volunteers. Even the drive to the gardens is beautiful on a foggy morning. Don’t miss this place!”

“We are locals, and often go to Shore Acres for the nice hikes, watching storm waves and, of course, the remarkable gardens. The Christmas light display is amazing.”

Golden and Silver Falls

This suggest may be somewhat cheating since we recently did an Adventure Spotlight on this very hiking spot, but we’d be doing this post a disservice by not including it on the list. If you didn’t read the previous post on Golden and Silver Falls then let us sum it up for you: Incredible hiking vistas overlooking waterfalls. Not to shabby, eh?

“This is truly a hidden gem in the Oregon Coast Range. The drive is about 30 minutes from Coos Bay, with the road being closed about 1 mile from the trailhead. Once there, there were 2 pit toilets to avoid, and a picnic area which would be great if you could bring your car up there–hopefully they will have the road fixed by summer, as it would be a beautiful place for a BBQ–they have the forest service style grills there. Golden and Silver Falls are two separate falls, each a short hike on a non-challenging trail. Silver Falls was my favorite, but they are both beautiful and well worth the hike. No water, electricity, or services otherwise there.”

We believe in “safety first” when you’re on the trail. Be sure to follow these tips to ensure that nothing will break your stride.

Bring Drinking Water

It’s important to stay hydrated when hiking so be sure to bring a drinking bottle with you. A refillable bottle is recommended so you don’t have to worry about pitching any waste afterwards (plus it’s better for the environment).

Use Sunblock

Even if it’s overcast you should be wear sunblock when hiking! Do yourself a favor in the long-run and stick to this tip.

Wear a Hat

Similarly, wear a hat to give yourself some shade! If it’s a sunny day you’ll be thankful you have it, and if it rains… well, you’ll be thankful you have it.

Wear Proper Hiking Boots

We can’t stress this enough, wear shoes with a proper grip for hiking. Sneakers are not enough as trails could have loose dirt or be rendered slick with the weather and you’ll be needing the extra traction that proper boots provide.

Hike In a Group

It’s recommended to hike in a group whenever possible. Not only does it make for a much more enjoyable time but you’ll be able to keep an eye on one another and avoid potentially problematic situations.

Bring Small Snacks

It’s better to munch on small snacks for energy as opposed to waiting for a big post-hike lunch!

Leave The Area Better Than You Found It

This is the golden rule for any nature preserve (or anywhere else for that matter). If you bring trash be sure to toss it in a proper receptacle when you’re done with it. If you see someone else’s trash along the way why not pick it up and toss it too?

This tip also extends to nature so don’t pick flowers, break boulders, carve trees, or any other such behavior. When in doubt leave it alone.