One of the Best Things to happen on the Oregon Coast, and all of Oregon for that matter, is the opening of Beaver Creek State Natural Area. Officially opened to the public October 2010, located just east of Ona Beach State Park and approximately 7 miles south of Newport on Hwy 101.
Like no other State Park…at Beaver Creek you will find 318 acres of forest, wetlands and meadows with miles of hiking trails and views of the Pacific Coast and ocean, rolling hills, orchards and forest…a real 360 degree view.
It’s unparalleled in terms of access and characteristics,” said Chris Havel, spokesman for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s such a rich area and easy for people to reach. It’s a nearly unique combination on the Oregon Coast.”
The property was sold in 2007, to the state by a cattle rancher who inherited the land and wished to see it protected. The area includes 160 acres of freshwatersh wetlands and 140 acres of uplands and will not only give paddlers the opportunity to explore off river, but will include access for ‘not so at home in the wild becuase the access is so easy,” Havel said.
“An Oregon coastal marsh is like the tropical rainforest of the wetlands world,” said Havel. “When you combine coastal uplands with a wetland of this quality, you get something stunningly beautiful.”
Let’s go up river….
Born in the coast range mountains Beaver Creek is a 30 mile long stream that enters the ocean at Ona Beach. The waterway has always given visitors the opportunity to see elk & cougars drinking at the bank… beavers, eagles, egrets, ducks and hawks… but now waterway visitors can access the area with out trespassing on private property as before. In the coming months the State Park plans to build a boat ramp and expand its guided kayak tours, landing boaters right in the heart of the natural area and an easy walk to trails.
“We can put you in a kayak and show you the ropes, and get you comfortable,” said Havel. “We virtually guarantee you’ll see, smell and touch Oregon up close and personal. And when you come to love Oregon’s lands, waters and scenery as much as we do, you’ll help protect them for the Oregonians who come after us.”
Do you like birds?
Beaver Creek Go Wild, Go Birding! Ranger Brian Fowler and the crew invite you
May 14, 2011 at Beaver Creek StateNatural Area. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. International Migratory Bird Day. Join us at the welcome center for bird walks with a naturalist, bird scopes and binoculars on the visitor deck, and a presentation by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Even if you don’t know the difference between a bufflehead and a northern shoveler, come on out and join the Beaver Creek State Natural Area Bird Census Jan. 8, 8 a.m.- noon. The count continues each weekend in 2011.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll join experienced volunteers before heading out on the park’s trails. Bird counters will receive group assignments, census instructions and bird checklists at the Beaver Creek welcome center. The checklist includes 169 possibilities to count, plus spaces to list more. “Considering the diversity of the area’s habitat, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some rare species,” says OPRD interpretive coordinator Jamie Little.
Novices can help by just asking questions, Little adds. “A beginner can make sure an expert doesn’t miss a sighting by just asking something like, ‘What’s that bird with the red-tipped wings over there?’”
The census will help OPRD plan how to manage the park and explain to visitors the different bird species that use and nest at Beaver Creek.
Park Ranger Brian Fowler is the census coordinator. Call or e-mail him for more information, 541-563-6413
Best part…admission is Free!