Just a short detour from U.S. Highway 101 in Coos Bay lies a beautiful stretch of the Oregon Coast where three state parks await your discovery. The parks are easily reached by car, but the best way to see the sights is by foot along the cliff top path, an 8.5 mile walk out and back.
Cape Arago State Park, located at the south end of the loop, provides picnic tables, views and hiking trails down to tide pools. A highlight is the viewpoint overlooking a noisy colony of seals and sea lions. We were lucky enough to see the occasional spout from a whale swimming about. Be sure to bring your binoculars!
Simpson Beach, a secluded cove with a sandy shore, is breathtakingly beautiful and a perfect spot to wiggle your toes in the sand or dip them in the surf.
Directly above the cove is Shore Acres State Park. Originally home to timber baron Louis Simpson and his family, the estate home is long gone. The remaining Gardener’s Cottage is surrounded by 5 acres of formal gardens, open to the public and well worth a stroll. Be sure to stop and smell the roses!
Because we were lucky enough to have secured a campsite, our walk ended where it began…with our return to Sunset Bay State Park. Make your reservations here early…this is a popular spot to escape the summer heat and, of course, to watch the sunset.