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Located west of the cabins and at the south side of the main parking area, there is a forested beach area with a number of picnic tables. Many of these picnic tables also have a grilling stand built in to the area around the picnic table.
As seen in photo 2, there is also a reasonably large picnic shelter, which may be reserved for group use. This is located right along the trail that leads from the main north beach parking area to the beach itself. If there is no sign reserving this shelter for someone else, you will almost always find someone occupying it on a first-come first-served basis.
Written Sep 8, 2012
South of Netarts Bay, Cape Lookout Road starts climing the hill to the ridge that goes out to sea and forms Cape Lookout. There are several wide spots in the road where it is possible to pull off to the side, and on a clear day, or even a not-so-clear day when the clouds are above the Cape, it is possible to get a decent view of Netarts Bay and the Pacific Ocean washing the edge of the Peninsula.
The signs say "No Parking on Pavement". This is because the paved areas are actually the road, and parking on the edge of the road interferes with traffic. Instead, pull all the way off the road into the gravel areas.
Other than looking over the edge at the view, there isn't too much else to do here.
Written Mar 25, 2011
Address: Cape Lookout Road, 1 mile N. of Trail Parking Area
There are some 8 miles (13 km) of hiking trails in Cape Lookout State Park. These inlude:
Cape Trail: approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) in length, it does not have long inclines but does have a series of somewhat steep up and down segments. It goes from the parking lot at the summit of the road to Cape Lookout to the end of the cape, and provides great views on a clear day. As the end of the cape is a steeply sloped cliff above the ocean far away from the coast itself, it is considered a reasonably good place to watch for whales during the migration season.
South Beach Trail: 1.8 miles (3 km) of steeply sloping trail leads from the parking area at the summit down to the beach on the south side of Cape Lookout
North Trail: 2.3 miles (4 km) connecting the trailhead area at the summit of the cape with the park day use area along the beach at the north end of the park.
Written Jul 30, 2010
There are a number of different trails inside Cape Lookout State Park, as the park includes a long stretch of sandy peninsula as well as Cape Lookout itself. This tip, however, describes the trail that runs from the parking lot at the top of the hill to the end of the cape.
At approximately 2.5 miles(4 km) in length this trail lacks severe long climbing grades, though there are a few short steep sections. The trail is fairly compact dirt the entire way, and in the winter months you can expect there to be mud. Some of the worse sections of mud have pallet walkways placed over the sections where the mud is the worst, but not the entire trail.
In the summer months, keep you eyes out for bird life. Bald eagles are usually not far away, and there are several types of native fruit that grow on the bushes that are popular with various birds. Cedar waxwings and what appeared to be Wilson's warbler (though much brighter yellow than what appears in most bird watching books I have) are two of the ones I've seen here in the summer months, along with a number of others.
The trail passes through very dense forest most of the way.
The hazards of the trail come where it runs directly along the edge of the cliff above the ocean. Except for certain very specific locations, don't expect there to be hand rails preventing you from falling over the edge and plunging several hundred feet down into the ocean, and probably hitting a few rocks on the way down.
The end of the trail is at an abrupt edge, though the end viewpoint does have a cable railing of sorts that doesn't offer a huge amount of protection. There is also a bench that overlooks the Ocean.
The trail offers views to the south in a few places, and at the end there is a view out to the open Ocean to the west as well as to the south. There is no view looking north from the end of the Cape, but at several points along the trail the trail does run along the north edge of the peninsula, and it is possible to see through the trees the ocean on the north side.
Photo 1: The Edge of Oregon: this is the view point at the end of Cape Lookout
Photo 2: The Cape Lookout Trail is mostly through dense forest, though there are places it opens up a little bit
Photo 3: The views are spectacular, but be careful of the edge of the cliff. It's a long way down. Note the trail at the top is still in the clouds, but the beach down below (WAY DOWN THERE!) is starting to get sun light.
Photo 4: Watch for various creatures of the forest, incuding birds, but also unusually shaped trees. There are several of them along this trail.
Photo 5: While you can't see north from the end of the Cape, you can see north in a few places through the trees. Here is the north side of Cape Lookout as seen from the trail.
Updated Jul 29, 2010
Over the years, improvements have been made to Oregon State Parks, especially when it comes to hand rails next to steep cliffs.
However, in a number of places, you will find that the steep cliffs remain unprotected. In some cases it is simply too difficult to build a railing next to the trail everywhere, and in other cases it is simply that resources don't exist to construct railings yet.
Most of these places aren't for people who are severely uneasy with heights either.
Cape Lookout State Park is one of those many, many places in the Pacific Northwest where visitors have to take safety into their own hands, and be very careful as they walk along a trail that runs along the edge of the cliff in a number of places.
There isn't much to prevent you from falling several hundred feet down into the ocean if you get too close to the edge or trip over something and fall into the nothingness above the ocean.
What handrails there are along the edge of the cliff are the old steel cable type that really date from the 1940s or 1950s, and modern visitors are usually not used to such flimsy protections on the edge of such a cliff.
Don't expect the state parks crews to be able to rope off entire forests for your protection, but at this location you are really going to want to watch yourself (and any children that are traveling with you) and stay away from the edge!
Updated Jul 29, 2010