A trip to Oregon is not complete without a stop in Alfred A Loeb State Park. The lovely park is located in a grove of aromatic mrytlewood trees along the south coast of Oregon. Just beyond the campground inside the park, the Chetco River offers some of the finest fishing in the area. In the fall and winter the salmon and steelhead are running and in the summer the river is perfect for swimming and rafting. Along the river a beautiful nature trail awaits that leads to the northern most grove of Coastal Redwood Trees. There are numerous campsites and rental cabins to accommodate a long stay.
The campground in Oregon’s Alfred A Loeb State Park has 48 campsites that are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and sits at an elevation of 150 feet. Most sites are surrounded by vegetation that creates a semi-private environment. Sitting next to the Chetco River, the campsites are equipped with flush facilities, hot showers, potable water and a picnic area. The campsites accommodate up to 50-foot long RVs with electrical hookup. The campground is open year round; it is quickly filled in the summers, but is less crowded in the fall when the changing leaves give visitors a splendorous autumn landscape. Firewood can be purchased for campfires. The three riverside rustic cabins are by reservation only. They are furnished with light, heat and a bed with a mattress. Guests must bring their own sleeping bags.
Hiking is a big draw for the Alfred A Loeb State Park. The Park holds two trails, the first, the Riverview Trail, follows the north bank of the Chetco River. It is approximately three quarters of a mile long and winds through a beautiful myrtle grove, ending at a crosswalk that connects it to the Redwood Nature Trail. The Redwood Nature Trail is a one mile loop that passes through the redwood grove. The trail takes hikers along a steep, wooded hillside, crosses four creeks and gives nature lovers the opportunities for birdwatching and spotting wildlife of the area. The park also butts against the Siskiyou National Park which offers an abundance of other hiking opportunities. During the walk hikers can marvel at the lush forest and melodic songs of the local birds. Foot bridges cross the creeks and give breathtaking views of beautiful trickling waterfalls. The trails are mostly shaded with the sunlight peeking through the giant trees. Small woodland critters scamper out of sight as hikers make their way along the dirt path.
In the spring, plants are blooming; the evergreen huckleberry bush is thick with tiny bell-shaped flowers. In late August the berries are ripe enough to eat right off the bush. Salmonberry raspberry-size berries are ripe in late May, early June which coincides with the arrival of the spring salmon. Other common plants in the park include sword ferns, red alders and tanoak.
Another appealing aspect of the Alfred A Loeb State Park is the fishing in Chetco River. In the fall and winter, the river is teeming with salmon and steelhead, along with trout. Anglers can throw out a line from the gravel bar or set out in a drift boat launched from the boat launch site. Lucky folks may spot a family of river otters frolicking in the waters.
Guests to the park can also enjoy swimming; the little ones can enjoy the wading area. Non-campers can use the day-parking area and still enjoy the hiking trails, swimming and fishing opportunities. Special events and nature programs are offered at different times during the summer.
October through April are rainy months on the Oregon coast with July and August the months that have the most hope for clear sunny days. The temperature in the summer is usually moderate, rarely hot. The winter temperatures are usually cool in the park with a minimal chance of snow.
The Alfred A Loeb State Park is about ten miles east of Brookings and U.S. Highway 101 along the southern coastline of Oregon. Brookings is a quaint town with a population of less than 7,000 though the larger nearby coastal town of Brookings Harbor has about 10,000. Both towns have a variety of lodging options for non-camping vacationers. The towns also offer various rentals for recreational purposes such as jet skis, wind surfers and boats; whale watching tours occur during whale migrating season.
Reservations for Oregon’s Alfred A Loeb State Park cabins can be booked at Reservations Northwest 1-800-452-5687 or online at www.oregonstateparks.org.