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Romantic Thrills of a Mysterious Section of Central Oregon Coast

Published 06/27/21 at 5:45 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Romantic Thrills of a Mysterious Section of Central Oregon Coast

(Yachats, Oregon) – Few things spell romance and even, well, wooing, better than the beach. And few beaches are more conducive to finding an excellent make-out spot or handhold-inducing moment than the Oregon coast, if you are so romantically inclined. (Above: Stonefield Beach)

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Along this magical 360 miles sits one section that is particularly wild and unruly, lending itself well to plenty of alone time. It's a place where tidepools reign supreme, humans are rare, where hobbits and rabbits dwell, where a lighthouse shines and where life is truly rugged. It's some of the most engaging collections of non-stop treasures along the central Oregon coast, with about 20 miles of delicious secrets between Yachats and Florence.

Start your romantic, isolated journey at Strawberry Hill, which is just south of the Lane County line. Sure, you can insert the musical pun here about "found my thrill...."

First, you step out onto a rather stately bluff with breathtaking views all around you. To the south, there's a long stretch of cobblestone beach with towering cliffs directly behind, chock full of agates and a sense of the wild so powerful it almost seems straight out of a pirate's tale. And who doesn't find that idea a little fiery?

West and north allows you access to a favorite spot of tidepool hunters, with large and small rocky blobs creating a labyrinth in the sand and providing plenty of places for starfish, mussels and other tideline dwellers to live.

It's as much fun for climbing and nature-reveling as it is for a simple, hand-in-hand walk on the beach.

Just down the road is Bob Creek Wayside, where more tidepools than humans populate this obscure but fascinating place. These truly come to light at lower tides, with sea life clinging to uniquely-shaped rocks at its southern end. Also at this section, there's a small sea cave and a huge boulder that creates a sort of arch by leaning up against the cliffs here.

At the northern tip you'll find plenty of mussels, but you'll have to cross the creek to do so. During the winter that's difficult, if not impossible and certainly unwise. During the summer months it's much easier.

Just a stone's throw north of Stonefield Beach and the small bridge over Ten Mile Creek you'll find a tiny, unmarked beach access lying behind a patch of gravel on the side of the road. Take this, then wander down a long path through the grass, past some idyllic streams (perfect spot for a first kiss), to find a small hidden beach featuring all sorts of bubble-like and craggy basalt shapes lying in the water and on the shore.

Within a few yards sits a striking, unusual building that looks like a Rubik's Cube all twisted up into a strange but wonderful shape.

One of the coast's biggest and most deliriously romantic secrets lies between Washburne State Park and the Heceta Head Lighthouse. It's called the Hobbit Trail – and don't tell anybody.

It's so named because the eerie tunnel-like earthen walls that surround you at certain points upon your descent. But it's a place sometimes favored by creative souls from the Eugene area who often construct wildly imaginative structures from the natural objects lying around, like amazing gardens of rocks, things you might find in Japanese gardens, strange rune-like figures from stones or other whimsical sights.

Or maybe it is occupied by gnomes who scurry away from their constructions upon the approach of any human being?

There's a dozen more amazing beach accesses here with more eye-popping surprises and vibes. See the Upper Lane County Virtual Tour for even more.

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