Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Natural Bridges Cove Hike

I headed north out of town this morning with no pre-conceived agenda other than finding a place to put my feet upon a beach. That's not as easy to come by on this stretch of rocky coastline as it might sound and after passing viewpoint after viewpoint I turned into a parking lot to turn around, and got a little sidetracked by this sign. I didn't know where it would take me, but I wanted to find out.

And off to the left, this one. I'd stumbled onto a section of the Oregon Coast Trail and itched to follow where it led. I was a little stunned by the almost rain-forest-like lushness I found as I ventured off the highway.

This vista of Natural Bridges Cove awaits with a nice viewing platform not far from the parking lot, but the trail continues onward and so did I. As you can see, the day was a bit cloudy, but not unpleasant.

This trail was beautiful! I'm a hiker who hasn't been on a trail in probably two years and my feet and soul ate this right up. Meandering up and down gentle rises, around rocks and past small coves and inlets that can absolutely only be seen from the trail -- fabulous! I don't know much about the Oregon Coast Trail, but I intend to learn more and follow as much as I can. I found good information and maps on the official Oregon Coast Trail state site, which also offers maps and info on the Samuel Boardman Park.

I must have walked about a mile before I turned back towards my car, sometimes deep inside the lush forest, sometimes in open meadows alongside the highway but always wrapped in nature. As always, I was a bit enthralled with the wildflowers....

And the lush flora....

And of course, the expansive views of the coast near where I reversed my path back to my car. I would have walked more, but the trail seemed to disappear near the highway or perhaps I just didn't want to look for it. I'd had a good hike and didn't mind returning home now.

North end of China Beach -- how to reach?

I never did get my feet upon a beach today, but there's always tomorrow.

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