After three nights in Bandon it was time to say goodbye and head home. We woke up early on Sunday to find that it had rained overnight. As we headed north on Highway 101 we passed through a number of showers and began to think that it was going to be a wet hike at Tahkenitch Creek. In fact the heaviest shower began in Reedsport just nine miles south of the trailhead.
When we arrived at the small parking area we were happy to find that it wasn’t raining there, at least yet.
In 2015 (post) we visited the area on either side of this trail but had skipped over this particular trail. The Tahkenitch Creek Trail set off through the forest on the north side of Tahkenitch Creek which it quickly crossed on a footbridge.
The wet morning hadn’t kept the wildlife from making appearances.
Beyond the footbridge there was a short section of boardwalk then we came to a junction with a trail map.
This junction was only three tenths of a mile from the trailhead and marked the beginning of a couple of loop options. We stayed to the right passing a couple of views of Tahkenitch Creek including the site of a possible ford. We had checked out the ford from the other side in 2015 and were no more interested in doing it this time around.
Possible ford site
The trail spent quite a bit of time away from the creek before arriving at another junction a half mile from the start of the loops.
A left here would have created a 1 mile loop and a 1.6 mile hike overall, but we stayed right opting for a longer option. The trail continued through the forest for another .8 miles to the next junction. We had been having to watch where we stepped all morning due to the presence of numerous slugs but along this section we also saw a rough skinned newt in the trail.
We faced another choice at this junction. Simply turning left would create a two mile loop, but a right hand turn would lead us to the Tahkenitch Dunes Trail in just under a mile. We had hiked the dunes trail to the beach in 2015 so we decided to go to that junction to link up the two hikes.
This stretch of trail remained in the forest until the junction. A brief right hand turn onto the Tahkenitch Dunes Trail provided a bit of a view of the creek and of the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
It would have been another .8 miles to reach the beach on the dunes trail, and since we had hiked that stretch before we decided to turn back here and get home earlier.
We kept right at junctions on the way back passing briefly though a sandy landscape.
As we exited the sandy area we met a gentleman who was looking for a good view of sand dunes to the south. He said he was working on a photography book of the Oregon Coast and had hoped to get some photos of the fog on some of the nearby lakes but due to the rain there was no fog over the water. We suggested he try the Oregon Dunes Overlook just north of where we were. We wished him luck and continued on.
The rain finally started to come down as we completed the loop so we hustled back to the trailhead and got into the car before we got too wet.
Even with the side trip to the Tahkenitch Dunes Trail this was only a 4.3 mile hike, and the shorter loop options make it a great leg stretch stop or hike for the younger kids. For us it was a nice way to end our mini-vacation and one more featured hike checked off from William L. Sullivan’s “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Oregon Coast & Coast Range” guidebook. Happy Trails!
Flickr: Tahkenitch Creek