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Boardman State Scenic Corridor features 12 magical miles along U.S. 101

August 2, 2015

Driving the 12-mile stretch of the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor in Curry County on the southern Oregon coast doesn't quite do full justice to it.

It's helps if you get out and walk, too. You don't need to walk far, just short micro-hikes to see why this landscape is often considered the most scenic on Oregon's Pacific shore. The highway view of the ocean is limited, so even if you don't hike, pull off at the picnic areas and viewpoints.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department have installed new highway signs that point out access points to the highlights of the Boardman corridor. The signs come up every mile or so, thus it's helpful to know in advance which of the many choices you want to spend time at.

Or, you could spend a few days and see them all.

The corridor starts 13 miles south of Gold Beach and ends at the north edge of Brookings. It's best to tour the corridor while driving south, because you won't need to turn across U.S. 101 twice at each stop. Touring while going north is also possible, but don't be distracted by the scenery when crossing the highway. The southern Oregon coast of south Curry County features Boardman State Scenic Corridor, as well as beaches and headlands in Brookings at Chetco Point and Harris Beach State Park. From the north, the best auto viewpoints are Arch Rock picnic area, Spruce Island, Thomas Creek Bridge, Whaleshead picnic area and viewpoint, House Rock viewpoint, Cape Ferrelo viewpoint and Lone Ranch picnic area. The best hiking access points, while driving in the same direction, are Thunder Rock Cove, Natural Bridges, North Island, Whaleshead and Cape Ferrelo.

And that doesn't even mention short walks to two of Oregon's most scenic beaches: China Beach (accessible from North Island) and Secret Beach (from a small parking spot at milepost 345.3).

Terry Richard
trichard@oregonian.com
503-221-8222; @trichardpdx

See the slideshow on The Oregonian. »