Nestucca Spit State Park Travel Guide

  • signs at lower Christensen Road parking area
    signs at lower Christensen Road parking...
    by glabah
  • Christensen Road parking area has toilets, signs
    Christensen Road parking area has...
    by glabah
  • Pacific View Trail observation deck at trail end
    Pacific View Trail observation deck at...
    by glabah

Nestucca Spit State Park Things to Do

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    by glabah Written Aug 2, 2010

    With scattered properties in and around Nestucca Bay State Park, the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge is primarily set aside for wintering grounds for a few of the rare birds that winter along the Oregon coast.

    The areas with the most fragile and rare ecosystems, however, are not open to the public, as they probably should be if the very rare coastal bog species found there are to recover. The Aleutian Cackling goose is one of the rare bird species that does winter here. In the early 1960s there were only about 800 birds left, but now the population is up to about 118,000. This is the only remaining wintering grounds for these birds.

    The predominance of wintering species and the percentage of the refuge that is outside public entry means there really isn't too much to this refuge.

    However, there are two small parking areas, and a short paved trail called the Pacific View Trail. I have covered that trail under a separate tip, due to the features of the trail.

    Interpretive displays and pit toilets are available at the parking area on the lower level of Christensen Road. Due to the very limited parking at the trailhead for the Pacific View Trail, the refuge suggests parking at the lower level parking area and walking up the road. However, you will be sharing the very narrow road with vehicles. Frequently, there aren't a huge number of cars here unless you are visiting on a peak travel day or other time when there are a lot of visitors here. If the lower parking lot is empty, then see if there is anything at the upper parking area.

    Christensen Road parking area has toilets, signs signs at lower Christensen Road parking area
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Photography

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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    by glabah Written Aug 2, 2010

    The vast majority of the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge is closed to public use all year. The exception to that is the Pacific View Trail, which starts at a small parking lot at the base of Cannery Hill and goes to an observation point closer to the top of the hill. The trail is paved the enitre way to the top, and the the observation platform has a ramp going from the trail to its highest platform level (which isn't all that high up).

    The parking at the trailhead is very limited, (two handicapped permit parking spots and four unregulated spots) so if it is a popular weekend day you may not be able to find a place to park directly at the base of the trail.

    On the other hand, I will also tell you that there really isn't too much to see here, most of the time, during the summer months. The refuge is most active in its support of wintering bird life, but very little of that bird life is in evidence in the summer months.

    You will be able to see the nearby cost line in the distance and surrounding hills, and there are a fair number of wild flowers here during the summer months. A few birds do come here during those months, but they simply are not the biggest reason for the refuge to exist.

    The roads to the Christensen Road Parking Area and then further up the hill to the Pacific View Trail are all single lane roads with occasional places to pass if there is a car coming the other direction. DRIVE SLOW so you don't have a head-on collision if someone comes the other direction.

    view looking north from Pacific View Trail looking northwest from Pacific View Trail viewing platform at summit of Pacific View Trail tiny parking area at start of Pacific View Trail Pacific View Trail observation deck at trail end
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Birdwatching

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