Parks and Recreation
This wild, foggy headland, located 10 miles south of Neskowin, won its name because cascades pour off its cliffs into the ocean. The trails to wildflower meadows here also have views of craggy islands, the Salmon River estuary, and a cove of barking sea lions.
This park is located in Pacific City and provides beach access, parking and restrooms. It’s a nice place to go for a walk on the beach and explore the Nestucca sand spit. The Nestucca River is legendary for 50 pound Chinook salmon and is located a short six miles north of Sahhali.
The verdant pastures around Nestucca Bay harbor six subspecies of geese including the world’s population of Semidi Islands Aleutian Canada geese, a subspecies of the Aleutian Canada Goose, and the only coastal wintering population of dusky Canada geese. Late October to early April marks an exciting time of year at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This is the period when the geese can be seen feeding on the surrounding short grass pastures. Nestucca Bay is located 6 miles north of Neskowin.
With downtown Lincoln City mere minutes away, you can glide quietly by canoe or kayak on the lake while you watch for coots, loons, ducks, cormorants, bald eagles, and grebes. As the only Oregon coast campground located in the midst of a city, the lake is a center of summertime activity. While none of the campsites are near the water, a hard-surfaced trail leads out of the campground to the shore of Devil’s Lake. Boaters, skiers, swimmers, and personal watercraft users share the water. Kayak tours of the lake are scheduled in the summer, Memorial Day through Labor Day (we provide the kayak).
Where the creek and ocean meet, you’ll find ingredients that make the spirit soar. Discover this park’s perfect wind-sheltered picnic areas only half an hour south of Neskowin. In case of rain, head for the covered picnic shelter. Walk the wooden footbridges arching through the Sitka spruce, western hemlock, shore pine and alder forest. At the cliff-rimmed beach, a lazy creek flows into the sea, cutting through an enchanting scenic ocean cove. This park has some great birdwatching and tidepooling opportunities.
Drift Creek Trail leads the way to a 240 ft. suspension bridge, which overlooks Drift Creek Falls. Below, a 75 ft. horsetail waterfall, which is best viewed in the Spring or Fall after seasonal rains. This beautiful trail is located 22 miles southeast of Neskowin.
Cape Lookout is located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean, giving you a terrific view of the ocean with easy access to the beach, 22 miles north of Neskowin. Beachcombing is popular here, and the park is reputedly a good place to find glass floats. More than eight miles of hiking and walking trails wind through a lush old-growth forest. The Cape Lookout trail follows the headland for more than two miles. A bench is located at the end of the trail. Enjoy the view! You might see a whale or two along with other wildlife.
One walking trail — the nature trail — is perfect for a shorter jaunt. The nature trail gives you a close-up view of native trees and other plants. Numbered markers are keyed to a trail guide. The beach which runs for more than three miles from the base of Cape Lookout to the end of the Netarts sand spit provides another great option for walking at Cape Lookout. Be sure to be aware of incoming tides, as some areas of the beach will completely disappear during high tide.
Be sure to look up when you visit this park … hang gliders and paragliders fill the air with colorful wings as they catch thermals and rise to dizzying heights. Along with Cape Kiwanda and Cape Meares, Lookout is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route.
Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout). Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, located 11 miles north of Neskowin, but it is one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action. Pacific City is the home of the Pacific Dory Fleet. South of Cape Kiwanda is the dory boat launching area. North of Cape Kiwanda to Tierra Del Mar is a stretch of beach popular with picnickers. Kiwanda provides great hang gliding and kite flying opportunities.
A must-see when driving the Three Capes Scenic route, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is situated on a headland over 200 feet above the ocean and 40 miles north of Neskowin. Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda are the other two capes on this route. Cape Meares provides an excellent view of the largest colony of nesting common murres. The site is one of the most populous colonies of nesting sea birds on the continent. Bald eagles are frequently seen in this area, and peregrine falcons have also been known to nest near here.
The park features tours of an 1890s lighthouse, the Sallie Jacobson Interpretive Kiosk, and interpretive panels at key viewpoints. Cape Meares has over three miles of hiking trails and a mile-long walking trail that winds through old-growth spruce trees, including the uniquely-shaped “Octopus Tree”. A short quarter mile hike from a turn-off at the park entrance will bring you to the largest Sitka spruce tree in the state of Oregon. In winter and spring, this park is an excellent location for viewing whale migrations. During the summer, resident whales can be seen from Cape Meares along with seals and sea lions that are often seen and heard.