Monday, October 10, 2016

Brookings, OR: Coastal Beauty and the Northernmost Redwoods

The combination of coast and redwood forest in Brookings, OR had us contemplating spending a month here earlier this year, but life had other things in mind for us and now we've managed to spend a week exploring all this small, most south western Oregon town has to offer.

We lucked out with the weather for this second week of October, no rain and mostly sunny for the entire week...and my foot is feeling better, the stars aligned for some hiking! Our first afternoon was a short walk at Chetco Point Park followed by some delicious beers at Chetco Brewing.

Hans is standing on the bridge on the ridge at Chetco Point.

Rugged Chetco Point.
Excellent blueberry ale and imperial coconut porter at Chetco Brewing!

Subtle sunset beauty through the clouds on our first night.

We took a good long hike on the Oregon Coast Trail; currently about 200 miles of beach and 155 miles of completed trails and road sections. When completed, the route will be about 400 miles long, stretching from the Columbia River to the California border.

We parked at Whaleshead Beach and hiked to Thomas Creek Bridge for a total of about six rugged miles (out and back). This portion of the Oregon Coast Trail lies entirely in the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor and includes steep ups and downs through dense coastal forest with brief, peekaboo views of the coastline, and the fascinating combination of hillside sand dunes and jagged coastline of Indian Sands.

Coastal view from the Oregon Coast Trail.

An arch at Indian Sand Dunes.

Dramatic shoreline from Indian Sand Dunes.

These dunes do not go all the way to the water.

Peekaboo views along the heavily forested Oregon Coast Trail.

Oregon Coast Trail.

Lone Ranch Beach is another beautiful place to walk within the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.

Fabulous driftwood at Lone Ranch State Beach.

Lone Ranch State Beach.

We're staying at Driftwood RV Park, a simple, clean full hookup park next to Brookings Harbor. We were surprised one afternoon to look out our door and see a cat sitting at the top of the stairs...Rosie was not impressed!

Rosie had an unexpected visitor!

We hiked through two unique types of forest beginning at Alfred A. Loeb State Park. The Riverview Trail is a pretty and easy 3/4 mile trail that goes through an Oregon myrtle forest along the Chetco River. The trail ends at North Bank Chetco Rd, which we crossed to hike the 1.2 mile Redwood Nature Loop. This trail winds up and down through the northernmost grove of redwood trees, ranging in age from 300 to 800 years old.

Giant old myrtle trees along the Chetco Riverview Trail at Alfred Loeb State Park.
A myrtle forest smells unique, the scent of fresh bay leaves permeates the forest.

Idyllic scene on Redwood Nature Trail #1111

Chetco River.

We took nightly strolls along the harbor across the street from our RV park.

A beautiful evening stroll along the harbor.

Encroaching fog creates an enchanting sunset.

Most days we were able to do a forest hike and a beach hike...the best of both worlds! There are only two old growth redwood groves in Oregon and the trees are smaller than those found just a few miles south in California, but we managed to hike through both of these groves.

A very narrow, windy gravel road took us to our second redwood hike: Oregon Redwoods Trails #1106/1107. Short but steep, the whole loop was less than two miles, but very pretty and even on a Sunday morning we practically had the place to ourselves.

Morning sun breaks through the fog on the narrow dirt road to Oregon Redwoods Trail #1106/1107

These are some of the northernmost redwoods in the country.

After the redwoods hike we took a coastal route home with a stop at McVay Rock State Recreation Site. Not only does this small park have beach access, but there's a dog park and brand new 9 hole disc golf course. It's a simple and fun disc golf course with mostly wide open grassy space plus some fabulous views.

A couple of the holes at McVay Rock have ocean views...gotta be careful when you throw!

There aren't too many hazards on this course, but this one was particularly dense!

The course is so new the tee pads have yet to be poured!
Hole 5 was unique...straight through dense shrubbery!
McVay Rock beach was different than most we'd visited so far, it was composed of tiny pebbles, and lots of driftwood, including an enormous tree stump.

McVay Rock beach held an enormous tree stump!



Otter lunch time!

Okay, that's enough for one post! Part 2 of our Brookings, OR stay coming soon...



26 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so jealous! I drove by the southern Oregon coast last fall on my way back from Lassen NP, and I had to be in Bandon by sundown. I drove past so many incredible beaches, cliffs and forests and I didn't have time to stop. I'm definitely putting Brookings on my trip list for next spring!

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    1. You and your camera would love it here! Plus, you have lots of camping options: Harris Beach State Park and Alfred A. Loeb State Park in particular.

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  2. What a beautiful area! You guys can really find the good places. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

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  3. Oh my...such beauty! And what great weather! The redwoods are magnificent and the coast is amazing! Definitely on the list for the future Lisa! I'm glad your foot is better...I can tell you both are having a wonderful time!

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    1. I think you and Joe would enjoy a stay here!

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  4. This area is on my list for next summer/fall. Your post has me drooling:) So many spectacular photos! Love the sunsets, forests, beaches, driftwood, harbors, and the ocean arch. Can't wait to experience this myself:) Thanks for hiking for me:) So very glad to hear your foot is improving...good to have those stars align!

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    1. You guys are going to have a ton of fun in OR next year!

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  5. Wow, beautiful! I would love those hikes. Looks like an amazing place to spend some time.

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  6. One of our favorite places and we can't wait to get back next year. Your pics remind me we need to get into the forest when we're there, not just stay on the beach! Don't you love all the driftwood "art"? Great shot of Hans on the stump!

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    1. I love everything about this area! Coast and beautiful forests are some of my favorite things!

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  7. Your pictures really capture the beauty of the OR Coast! Thanks for taking us along.

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    1. Fortuna, CA. Slowing making our way down California for our usual 2.5 months in San Diego over the holidays.

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  9. Obviously this is the place for me. Heavily forested ocean front. And OTTERS??? Be still my heart. Your pictures are just fantastic. The huge trees are calling me. I can sure see why you would want to spend a month here. So glad you are feeling well enough to hike 6 miles. That's no slouch. This "might" be my favorite place you have been. So lush and green. Wonderful water reflections. Your photographs are exceptional.

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    1. I know you would love this area! SO much variety and beauty!

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  10. Glad the weather was great. We never made it to Brookings, we got too cold last year in late September. We're such wimps. Beautiful pictures.

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    1. Your blood is all heated up from years in the desert!

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  11. How gorgeous! We love the Oregon coast, and it looks like you're there at the perfect time (we always like fall on the coast—the weather is often better than in summer.) So glad to hear that your foot is better—your hikes are beautiful! Forest and beach hikes all in the same day—sounds like heaven. :-)

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    1. Yes, October seems to have been a good choice! We have been in heaven!

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  12. Beautiful scenery, beautiful captures especially that sunset!
    You are so lucky to have the sun and warmth while in Oregon, while we were really cold in the Olympic Peninsula. Then we will be met with storm as we head to Astoria this weekend.

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    1. You're definitely going to get hit with some serious weather in Astoria. We've moved down to Fortuna, CA where the storm will be less severe.

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  13. Hmmmm, not sure where my comment landed. Brookings is a favorite place and we really have to get into the forest when we're there next time - the beach always keeps us busy. Don't you love the driftwood??? It's always so interesting.

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    1. Your comment is here, about halfway up the list! The driftwood is awesome!

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