Sunset Bay, Shore Acres, and Cape Arago Trails

Sunset Bay, Shore Acres, and Cape Arago Trails

Access: 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, Cape Arago Highway, continues four miles to Charleston.  Continue on Cape Arago Highway heading south past Bastendorff County. You can start at the North End by parking in the Sunset Bay State Park Day Use Area (near volleyball courts, or you can continue past Shore Acres, around a few turns, to the north end of the Pack Trail on the left (east) side of the road.  Park near there to hike just the Pack Trail Loop. You can continue to the he south end of the trailhead, which is located near the group picnicking area at Cape Arago State Park. Follow the paved road to a dirt road leading to the group campground (feeder trail on map). You’ll reach the trail shortly before the group campground (which you’ll see ahead)

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.
The hike as shown in red on the map is about 8.5 miles. Shorter hikes can be created by taking cross trails or going out and back to specific locations

Trail Description:  There are multiple variations of hikes on these trails. For the full experience of the most trails, it’s recommended to start the trail from the south end at the group picnic area at Cape Arago State Park.  

For other options you can pick up the trails anywhere in the parks (Sunset Bay, Shore Acres, or at parking areas along the road.

Starting at Cape Arago, you will head toward the group camp area, and shortly before the campground, there is a trail to the right. Follow that trail to the east through a gradual incline followed by a steep decline, across a small stream, and then up a steep incline. At the top of the trail, take a left toward the North, starting down the hill toward Shore Acres. If you continue on that trail, you will come across a World War II bunker near the bottom.

As an alternative, shortly after you start your descent, you can turn right onto the Perimeter trail, which will take you toward the main entrance of Shore Acres State Park.

Either route will take you to Shore Acres State Park, where you will join the Oregon Coast Trail, which will take you back South to the Simpson Reef Overlook. Cross the highway there, and continue to the woods to make a loop back to the starting point.

Detailed guide from Sunset Bay to Shore Acres.