Oregon’s Hidden Gem: Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

Since Southwest Oregon‘s Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is not the the first on a must visit place list, there’s a good chance most of traveller do not regularly visit the Beaver State.

That’s because as other areas of natural beauty, it’s decidedly under the radar of most vacationers and travel guides alike. That’s a shame, because along its 12 miles you’ll find an area packed with everything from secluded beaches to peaceful hiking trails that snake beneath an impressive canopy of Sitka spruce trees. In other words, it’s one of Oregon‘s very best-kept secrets.

The area, which takes its name from the first Oregon parks superintendent (who is commemorated with a memorial at the corridor’s House Rock Viewpoint), is a hiker’s dream. It offers 27 miles of the Oregon Coast Trail, among its many highlights. Better still, there are many points at which the trail can be accessed owing to the corridor’s convenient proximity to Highway 101. Choose your spot and allow yourself to explore. But, don’t be surprised if your hike into the forest unveils stunning views of the rugged coastline that huggs the length of the corridor.

It’s the closeness of the coastline that adds an extra “wow” factor to an extraordinary area. Among its treasures is a Secret Beach. A beautiful cove is accessed via a short hike and features a waterfall pouring onto the sand below. also, visitors must see Arch Rock, which, as its name suggests, is a huge natural rock arch perched in the Pacific Ocean.

Sea Stacks at Secret Beach, Oregon

Sea Stacks at Secret Beach, Oregon Photo by Rod Heywood

If Arch Rock leaves you with a taste for more, head inland once again. The corridor also boasts Natural Bridges Viewpoint, where two rock arches stand fashioned by the merciless battering from the wind, rain and waves over countless years. Almost as appealing is the accessibility of this gem, standing a mere 200m from Highway 101, leaving you to simply park up and explore.

The Natural Bridges Viewpoint

The Natural Bridges Viewpoint Photo by Stan Smucker

Despite the highway’s proximity to the corridor, you won’t find it intruding once you begin exploring. Rather, if offers a convenient way to view points of interest for those, who don’t want to take in everything on foot. It has a series of turn-offs to observe nature from a distance, each with access to picnic areas and viewpoints.

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Oregon

Other must-see areas include Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint and Whaleshead beach. Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint consists of just a short hike and offers a sample of the coastline. From there, you can even indulge in a whale-watching in the spring and fall. Whaleshead Beach has a picnic area and an easy, flat walk to the beach.

Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint

Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint

WhalesHead Beach Oregon

WhalesHead Beach, Oregon

Secret Beach

Secret Beach

Boardman Sea Stacks

Boardman Sea Stacks Photo by Cole Chase Photography

With dense forest and a wildly varied coastline, the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor has something for everyone. The diversity and beauty it packs into its 12 miles, is a treat for seasoned hikers and day-trippers. So, explore the Oregons gem, next time you’re in the area.

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