Oregonians are known for our strong opinions, but there IS one thing we all seem to agree on: our State Park system reigns supreme. If you have ever visited an Oregon State Park, it should come as no surprise that our state park system is among the most popular in the United States. In fact, it consistently ranks in the top 10 most visited state park systems in the nation.
Our State Parks are a wonderful way to experience the best of the outdoors, especially on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston. We are fortunate to have THREE glorious state parks that offer our visitors the opportunity to experience pristine coastal forests, seasonal wildflowers, and spectacular ocean vistas from atop the rugged cliffs and headlands.
State Parks Day and the Oregon State Parks Centennial Oregonians (as well as Oregon visitors) love our state parks so much that we’ve designated an entire day to celebrate them! State Parks Day will be celebrated this year on June 4, 2022, with multiple events and service projects throughout the state of Oregon. This year’s celebration is particularly special, as it is the 100 year anniversary of Oregon State Parks! “State parks are here because Oregonians know our state parks are special. You’ve invested in them, helped care for them and kept them open to all. Thank you,” said OPRD Director Lisa Sumption. “This year’s State Parks Day is even more meaningful in light of our centennial. We hope you will come out and wish Happy 100th Birthday to Oregon State Parks.”
June 4, 2022 will be a celebration of the places Oregonians hold dear: the viewpoints, the waterfalls, the trails and the historic landmarks. In addition to the special events highlighting the Oregon State Parks centennial, the Oregon State Parks system will honor State Parks Day by offering free parking, free RV and tent site camping. That’s right, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will waive day-use parking fees at the 26 locations that charge them and waive camping fees for all tent, RV and horse campsites!
And if that’s not enough, the ODFW designated the weekend of June 4-5, 2022 as a Free Fishing Weekend . That means you won’t need a license to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon!
State Parks on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston
No trip to Oregon’s Adventure Coast is complete without a visit (or two) to the State Parks (Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Arago State Park) along the Cape Arago Highway Loop. With beautiful coastal forests, unique hiking trails, dramatic ocean cliffs, pristine beaches and one-of-a-kind experiences, it’s no wonder that our State Parks are at the top of our visitors’ “Must See” lists.
We’ll begin with the crown jewel of Oregon’s South Coast, Shore Acres State Park . Situated on rugged sandstone cliffs high above the ocean, Shore Acres offers visitors a delightful combination of beautiful natural and man-made features. Grab your binoculars and take in spectacular ocean views, watch one-of-a-kind crashing waves, view migrating whales, as well as seals, sea lions and other wildlife that can be viewed from Simpson Beach, a secluded cove directly beneath Shore Acres. Stroll through lushly planted gardens featuring plants and flowers from all over the world, an Asian inspired pond and two rose gardens. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, the gardens alight with thousands of colored lights and holiday decorations. To learn more, visit stateparks.oregon.gov . Please note, with the exception of service animals, all pets must be kept inside your vehicle when you visit.
Positioned at the end of Cape Arago Highway (about 15 miles southwest of Coos Bay), Cape Arago State Park is a scenic destination where visitors can scan the horizon for migrating whales and other marine mammals, as well as fishing boats and ships entering and leaving nearby Coos Bay. The south cove trail leads to a sandy beach and beautiful tide pools abundant with intertidal plants and marine life (please enjoy them with your eyes only). The north cove trail provides access to fishing, beachcombing, and viewing the off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions at Shell Island – a designated National Wildlife Refuge. The trail is closed March 1- June 30 to protect seal pups. Picnic tables, restrooms and gazebo shelter are available for daytime use.
Located in most scenic areas on the Oregon coast, Sunset Bay State Park is protected by towering sea cliffs and features beautiful sandy beaches, amazing tide pools, picnic facilities, restrooms, and campgrounds. Sunset Bay is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for water recreation, camping, hiking trails, peaceful beach walks, stunning vistas. At low tide, 1200–year-old remnants of ancient coastal forests become visible in the sandy bottom of Sunset Bay. For camping details, call 541.888.4902 or 1.800.551.694 or visit stateparks.oregon.gov for more information.
Looking for more adventure? Here are some fun ways to explore the State Parks on Oregon’s Adventure Coast:
You can also follow Oregon’s Adventure Coast Facebook , @travelcoosbay on Instagram , Twitter and TikTok to find inspiration on the best spots to visit, eat, stay and explore any time of the year. Request your FREE visitor’s packet today !
About Oregon Parks and Recreation Department The mission of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. The department manages 254 Oregon State Parks, comprising more than 100,000 acres. A hundred years ago, state parks were barely an idea in Oregon. A 5-acre donation in 1922 became Oregon’s first official state park. Join us in 2022 to celebrate the places Oregonians hold dear: the viewpoints, the waterfalls, the trails and the historic landmarks. Share photos and memories on social media with the hashtags #oregonstateparks and #oregonstateparks100. Learn more at https://stateparks.oregon.gov/ .