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Oregon is not only the “picture” of beauty when it comes to the outside world; it is also one of the nation’s top producers of wine, with over 300 wineries in business. Just think…relaxing on the water, casting your line, and when that catch of the day is achieved, sitting back and enjoying a glass as the sunsets. Yes…it’s a nice dream; it is also one; however, that’s quite easy to make come true. To start your journey on the road towards this reality, head to Harris Beach State Park.

The seascape here is picture-perfect for sightseers, with miles of beaches, trails, colorful tide pools, and rocky formations for hikers to explore. Whether you’re looking for a day trip, a picnic, a relaxing weekend, or you’re setting aside a week for the family vacation – Harris Beach State Park is an excellent choice for any and all of the above. Located in Brookings, there is also a wide range of sites and touring opportunities with plenty to keep you busy.

This nature-lover’s retreat has a stretch of coast that birdwatchers absolutely love. The park offers access to both the north and south beaches, separated by one of Oregon’s most vibrant intertidal areas. When it comes to visiting for the day, the main parking area north of the park’s campground offers access to an area dotted by numerous near-shore rock formations. A trail from the smaller parking area located at the park’s entrance takes you to South Beach.

You will be awestruck by this intertidal area, with one of Oregon’s seven designated Marine Gardens there for you to enjoy. The cove features Arch Rock where waves rush through, and, at low tide, you are able to observe sea stars, hermit crabs, and a list of other strange, fascinating creatures. If you’re wishing to view the flyers instead of the swimmers, so to speak, Bird Island (AKA: Goat Island) is a National Wildlife Sanctuary which plays home to rare birds, such as the tufted puffin.

Hikers have their pick of trails accessed just minutes from the park. There is even a walking/biking trail that leads 1.2 miles to downtown Brookings. If wishing to have a less casual journey, serious hikers should not miss out on the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. You can hike the entire 12-mile stretch or pick a portion of the trail from several of the viewpoint stops: Whaleshead Beach to the Thomas Creek Bridge is a moderate three-mile hike that rewards hikers with the historic Indian Sands. A fragrant Myrtle grove can be traversed that connects to a one-mile loop trail through Oregon’s largest stand of Redwoods – some over 200 years old. All of your senses will be pleased as you partake of aromas like eucalyptus and camphor wood.

Paddle trips are also a delight. These adventures allow water-lovers to explore this diverse stretch of coast, and even if you’re just a beginner, you can also be a part of guided paddle tour expeditions.

See that? In the end, the ‘dream’ can come true. Simply visit Harris Beach State Park.

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