Hobbit Trailhead

The Hobbit Trailhead is a barely-marked widening of the highway shoulder just north of Heceta Head, near milepost 177 on US 101.  Technically perhaps part of Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park, it's worth a stop for the traveler who wants to stretch the legs along a lovely part of the scenic Oregon Coast.

On the east side of the highway, a trailhead offers access to the Valley Trail, through coastal rain forest covering ancient dune land, to the campground at Carl G. Washburne State Park.

On the west side of the highway, a trailhead leads immediately to a trail junction.  The right branch evokes the hobbit imagery as it leads over the ancient foredune and down to the Hobbit Beach below.  The left branch winds a scenic path through old-growth rain forest, over the top of Heceta Head and down to the Heceta Head Lighthouse.  The park trail leads past the old lightkeepers' quarters and down to the large parking lot and Cape Cove Beach at the foot of Cape Creek Bridge.

This stretch of highway between Cape Perpetua in Lincoln County and Heceta Head in Lane County isn't far from Yachats or Florence, but it feels remote, with marginal to no wireless service, wild headlands and beaches, and many parks and waysides.

Despite the remote-feeling surroudings and undeveloped trailhead, there are usually cars parked here and people exploring the trails.  The place must have a reputation as a destination, because I didn't notice enough signage from the highway to attract the idly curious passser-by.

More at HikeOregon.net, Oregonhikers.org, OutdoorProject.org, The Statesman-Journal, , Google Image Search.