From US 101 in Coos Bay or North Bend , follow signs to Charleston and Ocean Beaches. Roads merge at a “Y” intersection in Coos Bay’s Empire district, heading west on Newmark Avenue. Newmark Avenue reaches the bay and turns left (south). The road, now Cape Arago Highway, continues four miles to Charleston. Continue on Cape Arago Highway heading south past Bastendorff County and Sunset Bay State Parks. A quarter mile south of Shore Acres, around a few turns, is the north end of the trailhead on the left (east) side of the road. The south end of the trailhead is located near the group picnicking area at Cape Arago State Park.
Setting and Attractions:
A side trip to Shore Acres botanical gardens and scenic lookout is recommended. Shore Acres was once the home of Louis Simpson, a timber magnate who built a lavish estate on the sandstone bluffs of the Oregon coast. Once on the trail, you’ll discover World War II bunkers hidden on the mountainside a third of a mile south of the trailhead. The old cement structure formed a link in a chain of lookout posts built to guard the coast against enemy invasion.
It’s recommended to start the trail from the south end at the group picnic area at Cape Arago State Park. At the north end of the trail you can make a loop by crossing the street and connecting to the Oregon Coast trail and continuing south back to Cape Arago State Park (see Oregon Coast Trail). The trail follows a steep route through the forest along a portion of an old wagon road that led from Shore Acres south to Seven Devils, Whiskey Run Beach and Bandon. Before reaching the World War II bunker is a former lookout with a picnic table and a beautiful overview of coastal forest and the rugged coast complete with sea stacks.
For more information, trail conditions and maps contact: Oregon Department of Parks & Recreation at (541)888-8867 ext.26 or visit the Oregon State Park web site at www.prd.state.or.us