It is a sight that takes the breath away and fills us with surprise! It is a timeless coastal treasure a giant sandbox with plenty of elbowroom to stretch out and play
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area covers forty-two miles from Florence to Coos Bay and it is an Oregon landmark for outdoor recreation. People come from all over to experience 32,000 acres of sand, forest, rivers and lakes.
Many plan vacation time at one of the oldest parklands in the state: Jessie Honeyman State Park, just south of Florence – where State Park Historian, Cal Lewis, says camping dates back nearly 80 years. The Civilian Conservation Corps built Honeyman State Park in 1933. The corps was filled with unemployed young men from the cities in the east and they arrived in Oregon to build facilities that the public could use.
Nearly eight decades later, the park’s store (once the Cleawox Lake bathhouse) shows off the enduring craftsmanship of rock and timber construction. The sandstone rocks were taken from a local quarry and each stone was hand carved and chiseled into place.
Nearby, there’s another state parkland that’s also a unique botanical garden that is worth a visit. Stroll the boardwalk through the small Darlingtonia State Natural Site and gaze across a collection of native carnivorous plants.
There are other camping opportunities in the Oregon Dunes that include popular US Forest Service Campground sites. In fact, the US Forest Service manages 500 campsites along this stretch of coastline including Carter Lake Campground.
About the Author: Grant McOmie
Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.