Neptune South

168   🅿   🚻 💧   🐚 82A

A highway sign announces Neptune State Park; the beach access sign 82A calls it Neptune South.  It's a state park just south of Cape Perpetua near milepost 168 on US 101.  There is paved parking among coastal evergreens on a terrace promontory above the beach, picnic tables, vault toilets, and access down the bluff via stairs to the beach.  Neptune South is just south of the mouth of Cummins Creek, whose wide year-round flow crosses the beach here.  One can follow the beach of sand and cobbles around the bluff along the creek to the highway bridge, cross the creek to walk a short stretch of beach to the north, or follow the sand and cobble beach to the south under eroding sandstone bluffs.

Under the highway bridge, a trail leads eastward along the top of the steep south creek bank, descending to the creek level a hundred yards upstream.  A side trail leads southward along the east bank of an impressively deep and steep cleft canyon creek parallel to the highway.

From the beach at Neptune South, splashing across Cummins Creek enables an easy, short walk northward on the beach to Neptune North.  Fingers of stone terrace jut onto the sand, providing shelter from the north wind but allowing sunshine in the afternoons.

Neptune South has its own short sand-and-cobbles beach south of the creek.  At the south end of the beach, a series of rocky outcroppings jut into the ocean like splayed fingers, with steep cobble pocket beaches like webbing between them.  The going was easy enough for a moderately agile middle-aged man, until the last narrow chasm between steep rocky walls.  With determination, good shoes, and bouldering skills, one might go further, but the rocky shoreline between here and Strawberry Hill to the south is rugged.

The geology here is complex and interesting.  Some rocks look sedimentary, and some volcanic.  Blocks of rock are embedded in matrices of other rocks.  Geological strata are warped into slopes and even stood on end.

Neptune South is one of four units of Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint, the northernmost Oregon State Park along the coast of Lane County. 

Pictures at Google Image Search.

Begun 2020; updated 2022.