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Coffenbury Lake Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

From the north shore of Coffenbury Lake (bobcat)
Salal overhanging the shore, Coffenbury Lake (bobcat)
Coffenbury Lake, Fort Stevens State Park (bobcat)
The loop around Coffenbury Lake in Fort Stevens State Park (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Coffenbury Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Coffenbury Lake
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 35 feet
  • High Point: 30 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Around the day-use area; more crowded in the summer

Contents

Hike Description

Coffenbury Lake, part of Fort Stevens State Park, is one of many shallow interdune lakes on the Clatsop Plains, a sandy and now vegetated expanse formed by deposition from the Columbia River. Even though there are no inflowing or outflowing streams, the water level fluctuates as much as six feet with changes in the water table. The short loop hike is very close to the park's campground and is recommended for families with smaller children. There is even a summer swimming area! For those with time and energy, Coffenbury Lake can also be visited as part of the Fort Stevens Loop Hike.

Walk below the restrooms and through the picnic area. Head right along the shore and a small sandy beach to pick up the footpath leading up the alder-lined west shore of the lake. The path rises under Sitka spruce with evergreen huckleberry, sword fern, salal and holly in the undergrowth. Then the trail drops and keeps along a shoreline shaded by cedars and shore pines. Reach some larger spruces and the marshy south end of the lake.

At a trail junction, go left on a vegetated causeway with more wetland on the right (Spur trails here connect with the private trails of OMSI's Camp Kiwanilong). The trail runs close to the eastern shore now. Look for waterfowl, including flotillas of buffleheads. You're also likely to see mallards and cormorants. Pass through a grassy picnic area and keep to the shore to pick up the trail again. In spring, you might enjoy the odd sight of steelhead wallowing in the shallows: these are surplus hatchery fish that have been released here. Eventually, reach the Coffenbury Lake Trailhead and your vehicle.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Sky Island Graphics: Oregon Coast Area Trails

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • $5 day-use fee
  • Dogs on leash
  • Picnic area, restrooms, campground, swimming area, fishing, boats permitted

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Oregon: The Creaky Knees Guide by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Best Short Hikes in Northwest Oregon by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast and the Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon Campgrounds Hiking Guide by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.