The HiLine trail took us up, down and all around Cathedral Rock, connecting us with the Baldwin Trail and then to the Templeton Trail, an 8-mile Loop that took us back to where we began.
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Looking for a path away from the post-Super Bowl blues? Check out our short slide show from the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Although the skies were blue, temperatures hovered in the 30s (Fahrenheit) most of the day, requiring a fast pace to keep warm on a morning walk.
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With more than a hint of fall in the air, it was a glorious morning to walk up the hill above our home.
Cool nights and warm sunny days have kept us close to home where we are enjoying an abundance of fall color.
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.
Sunshine speckled the trail to Hunters Cove as we set out from the Cape Sebastian State Park Viewpoint. Our guidebook warned of strong winds that have kept the Sitka spruce that grow on the point at shoulder height, but this morning all was calm. As we hiked around a bend, the view north opened up to reveal an impressive sea of fog hugging the coast below us. Our downhill path would, no doubt, lead into the thick of it.As the fog lifted, we were able to see the steep cliffs and the surf below. The trail continued downhill through the forest and would eventually lead to Hunters Cove and a view of a collection of rocky island outcroppings. We didn’t make it quite that far since we had left our lunch in the car, but we walked long enough that the return trip offered clear views of the coastline we had missed earlier.Once back at the car, we drove a few miles down the highway and found our own spot (with a pretty good view) for our picnic.
The Coquille River Lighthouse was first lit in 1896 and continued to guide ships to safety off the coast of Bandon, Oregon until it was decommissioned in 1939.Bullard Beach State Park provides the starting point for a brisk 5+ mile round trip walk to the lighthouse. You’ll find plenty of opportunity for beach access along the way. Several parking lots are available those less adventurous.These days the lighthouse opens to provide a glimpse into the past…a brief history lesson for visitors, campers and history buffs. It also serves as inspiration (for photographers) from either shore of the Coquille River.