Little Oregon Coast Park Bigger Than It Looks
(Lincoln City, Oregon) – It’s called Canyon Drive Park, and it’s one of those central Oregon coast hotspots that’s not really well known. It’s a bit off the beaten path, cloistered in a singular space between looming cliffside stretches that don’t allow you access to the beach. It’s the only gap in a mile or so radius of cliffs and neighborhoods.
So, it manages to stay a bit of a secret: a beach less traveled by the crazed throngs that can otherwise flood the other beaches in town.
It’s also hard to get to. Take SW 11th from the main stretch of Highway 101 in Lincoln City until it dead-ends at this cozy beach entrance. However, along the way the road winds, twists and turns with almost psychotic ferocity, becoming not just confusing but a little bit of a white-knuckled drive – especially if someone is walking along the last part of it, where there is no sidewalk. At this point, the road is tiny, full of blind spots, and you still have to share it with the occasional family, dog walker and / or other vehicles. If you're going 15 miles per hour on this part you may still be going too fast.
All of a sudden the landscape has turned from thick, forested neighborhood to a small beach entry, and a sizable – although not huge – view of the ocean spreads out in front of you.
Canyon Drive Park actually lies at the end of 11th and Coast Avenue – not a street called Canyon.
It’s a tiny place by all standards: a restroom area and a handful of parking spots is all you’ll find. But it’s actually part beach and part lakeside park.
Behind the restroom area sits a small grassy area and then a small lake or pond behind that. Here, especially on lazy summer days, it’s a small kick in the pants to just lounge by the lake and take in the watery reflections, the calm and the moss-covered remnants of old trees.
You’ll find a little stream wandering gracefully down here, and a stone floor section of the ramp going to down to the sand that adds just a little more charm to the vibe. During winters, however, this stream can get a bit more frenzied.
The stream in winter.
The beach itself is typical of Lincoln City: plenty of soothing sands and a tide line than can dip rather steeply sometimes, causing the waves to crash just a little louder than a more steadily sloped beach.
Become of the ramp, it's consequently wheelchair accessible.
To the north, it’s a about a mile to the next beach access: at the D River area. To the south: it’s also about a mile to the next one, in the Nelscott District, at around SW 32nd Street.
Canyon Drive Park in the fog.
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