How to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month in Yachats!

June is a month of anticipation, light-heartedness, and FUN!  Kids are looking forward to being released from school for three glorious months, and everyone is planning summer vacations, extended weekends, and long summer nights filled with laughter and the tantalizing aroma of barbeque!  It is also Great Outdoors Month, with National Trails Day on June 4th and National Get Outdoors Day on June 11th.   Yachats has a plethora of fun recreational opportunities just waiting for adventurers like you!

The Background

June is designated as Great Outdoors Month each year through a Presidential Proclamation, and highlights the numerous benefits of active fun outdoors and the magnificent shared resources of our parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands and waters.  Key outdoor recreation leaders have once again asked the President, all 50 governors, and other key officials to proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month.  The gubernatorial Great Outdoors Month proclamations began several years ago, with 2010 marking the first year proclamations had been issued in all 50 states. While the state proclamations vary in emphasis and reflect key state features, most praise volunteerism, the power of outdoor recreation to contribute to happier, healthier lifestyles, and the legacy of parks and public lands and waters. – From American Recreation Coalition

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Hike, Bike, Paddle

Whether you like to hike, bike or paddle, the Yachats area has a number of beautiful trails and waterways to explore.  Download this handy regional trail guide and get out there! Nearby Cape Perpetua Scenic Area boasts 26 miles of interconnected hiking trails, taking you through coastal old growth rainforest to awe-inspiring ocean vistas, tidal pools, marine gardens, crashing waves, and diverse beaches.  Additional trails scattered throughout Yachats include the relatively new Ya’Xaik Trail and the connecting public footpath through the privately owned Gerdemann Botanical Preserve. This one-mile loop will take you on an enchanting journey through a lush, second-growth forest, where you can see large leaf rhododendron, Oregon grape root, berries, fungi, wildflowers and nurse logs.  The historic 804 Trail, perhaps one of the most well-known walking trails in Yachats, meanders along the ocean and is dotted with benches and viewpoints which invite you to stop for a moment to ponder the unsurpassed beauty of the Oregon Coast.  After being washed away by a landslide this past winter, locals and visitors alike will be delighted to attend the re-awakening of Amanda’s Trail on June 4th at 1 p.m.

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Go Coastal

In 1967, Oregon’s 363 miles of coastline forever became “The People’s Coast”, thanks to the landmark Oregon Beach Bill.  Oregon Statute 390.610 decreed:   “The Legislative Assembly hereby declares it is the public policy of the State of Oregon to forever preserve and maintain the sovereignty of the state heretofore legally existing over the ocean shore of the state from the Columbia River on the north to the Oregon-California line on the south so that the public may have the free and uninterrupted use thereof.”

363 miles is a lot of coastline to cover, so we’re going to tell you about a few “off the beaten path” locations from mileposts 163.5 to 177.

Milepost 163.5

Overleaf Lodge, with its oceanfront rooms and relaxing spa facilities, will be your home base, of course!  Whether you want to explore tide pools, become mesmerized by waves crashing against basalt rocks, or just relax while watching a spectacular sunset, the coastline at Overleaf Lodge is the place to be.  Here you can explore the 804 Trail; search for agates & shells, whale watch at Smelt Sands State Park and Yachats State Recreation Area, or look for the many photo opportunities at Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site.

Milepost 167

This brings you to the wonders of the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, including Devil’s Churn, the Spouting Horn, and Thor’s Well.

Milepost 169

A visit to this area isn’t complete without a stop at the popular Strawberry Hill.  Aside from its rugged beauty, Strawberry Hill is known for agates, a labyrinth of tide pools, and a fine population of sun worshiping seals.

Milepost 170

Continuing south, milepost 170 reveals another lesser known wayside, Bob Creek Wayside.  Where rocks outnumber people, this scenic spot provides prime agate collecting, unusual tide pools, and if you walk far enough, a secret cave!

Milepost 177

If you would like an “otherworldly” experience, pull into a small parking area just after milepost 177, and follow the trail marker to the mystical Hobbit Trail.  A descending walk through dense rainforest, with trees forming a tunnel along some parts of the trail, will lead you to a small section of beach which seems to stand outside of time.  This trailhead also gives you the option to go on a beautiful 1 ½ mile trek to the most photographed lighthouse on the Oregon Coast – Heceta Head.