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Exploring Nature Therapy on Oregon's Adventure Coast: Embrace, Release, Renew

Exploring Nature Therapy on Oregon's Adventure Coast: Embrace, Release, Renew

Thu, Mar 7, 2024

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In today’s fast-paced world, many of us find ourselves constantly juggling multiple responsibilities, leaving little time for self-care. Yet, amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life, prioritizing self-care and mental health has never been more crucial. Years of research has shown that regular doses of “nature therapy” can help manage stress and increase happiness and well-being. 

Nature therapy, a.k.a. “forest therapy” or “forest bathing”, is a rediscovered practice of purposefully engaging with the natural world to enhance our overall well-being. It’s a cost-effective method accessible to everyone, regardless of location or resources. Surprisingly, many of us have experienced the benefits of nature therapy unknowingly. With spring and summer just around the corner, we thought this would be the perfect time to demonstrate how simple it is to reconnect with nature on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston.  

What is Forest Bathing?

Forest Bathing is a Japanese practice called Shinrin-yoku where a person spends quality time in forests, parks, or other natural environments and uses all five senses to connect with nature. It has been shown to help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost the immune system. In this post, we’re highlighting some of our favorite places to try forest bathing, to improve your wellbeing and find stillness. 

#1 South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough NERR) is a 5,000-acre natural area located in the Coos estuary near Charleston, with one of the richest ecosystems on the Oregon Coast. Not only are there miles of hiking trails and waterways to explore, but visitors can also enjoy an abundance of wildlife viewing. Take a self-guided tour through this protected area of land and estuary, and you’ll likely spot various birds and wildlife like Bald Eagles, Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Egrets and Belted Kingfishers. South Slough NERR is more than a beautiful destination to hike and unwind; it is a living, breathing natural resource dedicated to sustaining the environment and coastal way of life. The reserve is located at 61907 Seven Devils Road Charleston, OR 97420.  For more information, visit .  

#2- Cape Arago Beach Loop

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as the array of beaches and state parks along the Cape Arago Highway. The Cape Arago Beach Loop will take you to three state parks (Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Arago State Park), in addition to breathtaking beaches and vantage points. Visitors can find peace and mindfulness on the coastal forest trails between Sunset Bay State Park and Cape Arago State Park , Bastendorff Beach , and Yoakam Point . Shore Acres State Park , with its amazing cliffs and gorgeous botanical gardens, is one of our favorite spots for forest bathing. It offers access to multiple hiking trails, including the Oregon Coast Trail – which connects Sunset Bay and Cape Arago State Parks to Shore Acres. While you are taking in the amazing natural beauty throughout Shore Acres State Park, be sure to explore Simpson Reef and Shell Island . For complete details, download our PDF Guide for the Cape Arago Beach Loop


#3- Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area

Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area is one of our favorite places to enjoy nature and solitude while hiking through scenic canyons and lush coastal forests to two magnificent waterfalls. The drive to the falls is part of the adventure, with winding roads that narrow in places and can take almost an hour to traverse. A small parking and picnic area is located along the banks of Glenn and Silver Creeks, set in an old-growth forest of Douglas fir, Big Leaf Maple and Oregon Myrtle trees. Hiking trails wind through scenic canyons to each of the waterfalls, which plunge over sheer rock cliffs to moss-covered boulders 100 feet below. Hike 1.4 miles to the top of Golden Falls to get an eagle’s-eye view of the cascading waterfall and giant old-growth fires and cedars. Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area is 24 miles off Highway 101 (Directions Here! ) Visit the Golden & Silver Falls Page on the Oregon State Parks website.

#4 Whiskey Run Mountain Biking Trail System 

For some, there’s no better way to reconnect with nature than hopping on a mountain bike and letting go of their worries. It just so happens one of the highest-rated mountain biking trails in Oregon is right in our own backyard! The Whiskey Run Mountain Biking Trail System is renowned for its 32 miles of well maintained trails, moderate climbing and fun descents through the misty Coos County Forest. Riders are treated to sweeping views of a working forest, tranquil streams, fern covered forest floors, and glimpses of the ocean beyond that can only be experienced on Oregon’s South Coast. The Whiskey Run Mountain Bike Trail system is located about 15 minutes from Bandon or Coos Bay off Highway 101. 

You can also find amazing benefits from forest bathing along some of the “trails less traveled” on Oregon’s Adventure Coast, like Empire Lakes Trail, Millicoma Marsh, Mingus Park, North Spit Of Coos Bay Trail System , Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Simpson Park/Ferry Road Park in North Bend.  The opportunities are endless! 

For even more travel inspiration, visit our Adventures page and our Trip Ideas page to discover all there is to do on Oregon’s Adventure Coast. Please contact us with any questions.

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(541) 269-0215
50 Central Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420

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