Beaver Creek State Natural Area opens Oct. 1 (2010)
Beaver Creek State Natural Area is a place to celebrate nature and the celebration begins at a grand opening ceremony this Friday. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Governor Ted Kulongoski and others will unveil the park at the new visitor center.
The visitor center features interior displays of the freshwater wetlands, river habitat and mature coastal forests, as well as interpretive publications. The ADA-accessible, outside observation deck has interpretive panels of the park’s namesake, beavers, and the marsh habitat. The center is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily starting Oct. 2.
For paddlers, birders and nature walkers, Beaver Creek is something close to paradise. You can launch your own kayak from Ona Beach or take a summer guided kayak tour. Paddlers enter a park rich in bird life—bald eagles, flycatchers, osprey—and other wildlife such as beaver and river otter. You also have a chance to see salmon and steelhead, and lush wetland plant communities.
After navigating two miles upstream, paddlers can turn into hikers. A trail leads from a landing to a seven-mile network of upland trails. A hilltop viewpoint offers views of the coast range and the ocean.
The nonprofit Wetlands Conservancy, which is dedicated to promoting community and private partnerships that permanently protect and conserve Oregon’s greatest wetlands, helped OPRD acquire the land for the park. The conservancy also owns wetland acreage between Ona Beach and the new park.
Beaver Creek is the seventh new state park since 2004 to open under Governor Kulongoski’s “park-a-year” initiative.
If you go opening day: Visitors will ride in shuttle vans from the Ona Beach State Park parking lot on Highway 101 to the park, just over a mile away. Look for signs.