Visit a newer park on the Oregon Coast

Brian Booth State Park, Oregon

As any visitor to the Oregon Coast knows, you can travel under blue skies and summer sun right up till the moment you arrive at the beach. And then the fog and stiff wind force you to don a sweatshirt and maybe a windbreaker. It’s the coast! At least you are staying cool.

A relatively new Oregon park just minutes east of Highway 101 affords easy hiking, great views of wildlife and ­– best of all – sunshine and slightly warmer temps. It’s the Brian Booth State Park, between Waldport and Newport. 

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department created the park in 2013 when it combined two parks – Ona Beach State Park and Beaver Creek State Natural Area – into one, and named it in honor of the first chairperson of the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission. Brian Booth was a founding partner of the Portland law firm Tonkon Torp. He passed away in 2012. 

My family had visited Ona Beach many times, but not the natural area, which by the way is also a wonderful place to kayak or canoe. Surrounded by the Beaver Creek Marsh, the upland area features 5 miles of easy-to-moderate hiking trails. We circumnavigated the area on the 2.1-mile Beaver Creek Loop, viewing many birds and one rabbit. Roosevelt elk, deer and coyote are also resident. 

Following our hike, we visited the welcome center where park staffers answered our questions and let us view an active osprey nest through their high-powered telescope. An ADA-accessible deck looks over the marsh and creek. Interpretive panels describe the ecosystem of a coastal marsh, including its importance as habitat for juvenile coho salmon. 

The welcome center is located 1 mile east of Ona Beach and Highway 101, at 11844 NW Pacific Coast Highway. During the summer, it’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. Winter hours are noon to 4 p.m. You can access the trails from the center, but you might encounter some wet spots. We found a drier entrance a mile down South Beaver Creek Road. We parked alongside the road and entered via a gate that said, “Keep pets on leash.” 

It was about a quarter-mile to the trail system, and the hiking was fairly easy – with blue skies and no fog.

Paul Barnum


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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