The Oregon Coast Trail

The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

Named in honor of the first Oregon Parks superintendent, this scenic corridor is a linear state park in southwestern Oregon. It is 12 miles long and thickly forested along steep and rugged coastline with a few small beaches. It is located just north of Brookings, Oregon between the Pacific Ocean and U.S. Route 101. The north end abuts the Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint.

The Oregon Coast Trail meanders 27 miles through this park.

Following the coast of Oregon from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border south of Brookings, the Oregon Coast Trail is a 425 mile hiking route.  (

So… now that we know The Who, What, and Where, I will explain Our Why.

Jeff and I stopped at every viewpoint along this corridor last summer. We promised each other that when we returned to Port Orford we would hike between the viewpoints.

Today we travel south for 44 miles to Arch Rock where we plan to hike the Coastal Trail to Natural Bridges.

It is raining and overcast when we arrive at the Arch Rock viewpoint. The view is beautiful but where is Arch Rock?

We walk along a short path through the forest and voila

Of course it’s raining now.

We meet up with a young woman with a clipboard and camera with a long lense. She is working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife surveying the presence of the Black Oystercatcher as an indicator of ocean health.

She shows us a picture of this black bird with its bright orange beak.

We continue walking, trying to avoid the leaves of three that shout out, “We are poison oak… Beware!”

We return to our parked car and take more pictures while we decide whether to continue hiking in the rain or return to Port Orford.

Since we are already wet, we decide to continue following the coastal trail, hoping the forest will provide shelter and that the rain will stop.

I spy a yellow-green snail shell. As I move in to take a picture, the snail’s white body pops out!

We hike through the forest and the rain lets up and eventually ceases.

Ocean views peek out between the trees.

Twenty minutes later we are out of the forest and walking along Highway 101.

These blooms of purple flowers guide us along our way.

The road leads us to a large turnout and a path leading toward the ocean.

We delight in the breathtaking views of Secret Beach.

But we need to move on so we climb back up onto the trail heading south. We cross a bridge intersecting a waterfall and I take pictures from both sides.

A little later we pass by this closer view of the waterfall.

The sun shines brightly now and lights up the path in neon greens.

Once in a while the trees frame pictures of the Pacific Ocean.

The views of the forest are fantastic as well.

The coastal trail leads us to Thunder Rock Cove.

After opening onto a large grassy knoll, the path ends at the point below.

And look who I find here, doing his best Vana White impression…

The view to the north…

The view to the south…

The view heading back…

We finally exit at the trailhead to Thunder Rock Cove.

So, we never do quite make it to Natural Bridges, but we do have fun exploring the coastal trail and experiencing some gorgeous views.

We walk back along the highway to our car parked by Arch Rock because it is a lot shorter than retracing our steps. We still have a 44-mile drive back to Port Orford and I am excited to download my pictures for this post.

…Another lovely day on the southern coast of Oregon…

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