A Walk at Sitka Sedge, Oregon’s Newest State Park

Sitka Sedge State Park

I was trying to decide if I should do a hike at Cape Lookout State Park or try out the trails at Sitka Sedge. After reading reviews, the Cape Lookout trail sounded gorgeous as it traversed a headland with commanding ocean views. But people mentioned having to walk over many tree roots, rocks and muddy spots. I decided Sitka Sedge would be more relaxing, plus it was only about three miles away. I also liked that Sitka Sedge has a variety of habitats including a marsh, lake, forest and beach access. Oregon has many state parks and this is its newest addition, having opened in 2018.

Sand Lake

The trail started out on a dike which divided the marsh between the fresh water portion and the saltwater. It traveled around Sand Lake which in season can be a great place to see waterfowl. During our Oregon travels I didn’t see as many birds as I thought I would as migration was over and the birds seemed to have retreated elsewhere to settle in for the winter. On this walk I did hear and see several Kingfishers flitting about which is always a delight and a flock of Mergansers gliding on the lake. The trail led to a barrier peninsula which protects the marsh from the ocean. There were several loop trails and I started with the Kinnikinnik Woods trail. The word Kinnikinnik refers to an evergreen shrub which was first recorded by the Lewis and Clark expedition when they were in North Dakota.

The Kinnikinnik Woods trail

A side trail from the woods traveled over grassy dunes to a beach which stretched for some distance. I only saw one other person walking on the shore and at one point a state park employee drove his truck by and waved.

After a beautiful and peaceful walk on the beach I returned to the trail to go back into the woods and finish my loop. From the dunes I entered once more into a dense canopy of trees made up of Coastal Shore Pine. It was an interesting walk as the thick forest with short trees seemed dark and mysterious in places.

Trail disappearing into the woods

Taking another short side trail I headed out of the forest briefly for a view of the marsh from a small hill. The sky was so beautiful that day with big, puffy clouds.

The Kinnikinnik Woods trail featured Sitka Spruce trees covered in dense moss. Lots of red mushrooms carpeted the forest floor.

I finished my hike with a second loop called Estuary View before heading back on the dike trail to my starting point. Along the way, I stopped to take photos of beautiful bushes covered with red berries. I tried to figure out the name of the bush and berries but I am not yet certain what they are called. They were a lovely spot along the trail.

I was very glad I explored this park as it had great scenery with trails perfect for walking. Plus, it is always fun to hike to a beach and I enjoyed all the different habitats. Oregon continues to wow me with all their wonderful state parks! Until next time!

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