"Bayocean Peninsula and Trail" Cape Meares State Park Things to Do Tip by glabah
Cape Meares State Park Things to Do: 14 reviews and 45 photos
Just north of the little town of Cape Meares and the Cape Meares State Park, you will find a long, thin peninsula that divides Tillamook Bay from the Pacific Ocean. This is the Bayocean Peninsula.
Around 1912, a bunch of resort developers decided that this peninsula would be a great place to construct an ocean resort town. Unfortunately, when constructing anything on the edge of the ocean it must be properly understood what this construction will do to the ocean and tidal current. This was not done when the jetty was constructed at the entrance to Tillamook Bay. The construction of the community on sand, as well as the lopsided construction of the jetty at the entrance to Tillamook Bay, radically changed the tidal currents and the erosion effect on the peninsula. By 1960, the last house collapsed into the water.
Efforts were made to construct a dike, which stabilized the erosion of the peninsula. The second jetty at the entrance to Tillamook Bay altered the ocean currents to once again resemble what they once were when they had created the peninsula. Construction of buildings on the unstable peninsula was no longer allowed, and it became a public access park.
Today, you can drive approximately 1/2 a mile north from the paved road to a gravel parking area. This serves as a trailhead for the small trail system that has been constructed that wanders about the entire peninsula. From north to south the entire peninsula is approximately 3 miles in length, and the trails wander around the peninsula quite a bit.
You will find that there are a lot of unofficial trails that wander around the peninsula. Please stay off these as much as possible, as they create confusion as well as helping to recreate the severe erosion problem that plagues this peninsula.
Tillamook Bay is a popular wintering ground for various salt water birds, and is a stopping point for various shore birds on their way north during the spring migration. Hunting season will see many people with guns wandering the peninsula, and don't be too surprised to hear gunshots during this time.
The main trail runs along the east side of the peninsula, and used to be the road serving the communities on the peninsula. Today it is simply a very wide trail - or a somewhat narrow gravel road. The west side of the peninsula is entirely beach, and walking the beach is the best way to explore that side of the peninsula. Several trails connect the two at several points along the peninsula.
Much of the peninsula is coastal scrub forest, but the northern part of the peninsula is a more firm rock and larger trees are able to take root here. It is a more dense forest than what is found at the very southern end of the peninsula, where it joins the land.
Bald eagles, an assortment of song birds, kingfishers, and many other birds may be sighted here, but the area is busy during the summer months and most of the bird life takes cover. You will also find deer and larger mammals, but they also take cover during the popular summer months.
There are no restrooms or much else in the way of facilities at the peninsula, but there are restrooms available at the Cape Meares State Park and at the primary boat launch area of Bayocean Peninsula Park, which is approximately 2 miles towards Tillamook on the paved road. If you use the parking lot at the boat launching area, you are required to pay a $3 day use fee.
The park is part of the Tillamook County Parks District, for which there is a web site link, below.
Directions: Follow signs from Tillamook to Cape Meares. West on Bayocean Road. At north end of Peninsula, turn right onto unpaved roads (both are one way roads - take the one you need!!!). Park at trailhead.
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