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Mike Miller Park Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Hiking the spruce/hemlock forest, Mike Miller Park (bobcat)
The pond, Mike Miller Park (bobcat)
Rough-skinned newts, Mike Miller Park (bobcat)
Large Sitka spruce, Mike Miller Park (bobcat)
  • Start point: Mike Miller Educational TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Emery Trail Junction
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 115 feet
  • High Point: 170 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

The one-mile Mike Miller Park Educational Trail circles a square of donated forest in Newport's South Beach area. While the area has been logged in the past, some large old growth Sitka spruce still tower over a lush and mossy understory. There are usually interpretive brochures available at the trailhead. Two newer trails lead off the loop trail to double the distance of the outing: the Wilder Trail on the north side of the property leads to a newly created suburb, and the Emery Trail, named after Will Emery, the benefactor who donated the land and has helped to pay for trail development in this area, heads south from the loop to connect with 50th Street. A trail is proposed from here to lead back along 50th to the Mike Miller Educational Trailhead.

The interpretive trail heads off into a rhododendron, evergreen huckleberry, salal and wax-myrtle thicket. At the junction for the loop, keep left and walk along an old railroad grade. This railroad was used during the First World War to carry spruce logs from Yachats to Yaquina Bay. Spruce was used in the construction of early-20th century aircraft. Look for migrating newts on the trail in the spring. The trail veers off this flat track and heads up and down to cross a footbridge. Enter shady Sitka spruce, Douglas-fir and western hemlock forest. Cross a footbridge over a pond. The rooty trail heads up in mature woods of Sitka spruce and hemlock. There are plenty of benches to sit on along the trail. Pass a huge spruce and then a large root ball in an area of large hemlocks. At #7, a side trail leads to a soil pit showing the different layers. Reach the junction with the Wilder Trail. This trail offers a glimpse from a height towards South Beach and then drops to the Wilder Twin Park development on SE 40th Street.

Continuing on the loop trail, go right in old growth and at #9, a spur trail leads to the edge of the woods. Enter younger hemlock woods, planted in the mid-70s. Salal forms a dense thicket here. Begin a descent in a more open area under recently-planted spruce and cross a footbridge to ascend some steps. The trail levels in salal and then descends again in an area of blowdown. Pass the junction with the new Emery Trail (Head down through young regenerating forest near a new campus of the Oregon Coast Community College to 50th Street and then return to add another 0.6 miles to the hike) and descend more steeply in a still-open area with salal, evergreen huckleberry, hemlock and spruce. Look for an osprey nest perched on on old snag to the left. Cross another footbridge and enter a dark tunnel of young hemlocks. Walk along a short boardwalk and keep descending to a pond. Here, there’s a footbridge and a small landing. Ascend a short slope under rhododendrons and evergreen huckleberry, and then descend to the loop junction on the railroad grade. Turn left and walk back to the car.

Note that there are suburban trail connections, using the Wilder Trail from Mike Miller Park, to the Hatfield Marine Science Center on Yaquina Bay.


Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fees
  • Dogs on leash
  • Campground, picnic area, restrooms

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 75 Hikes in Oregon's Coast Range and Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Oregon's North Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • Hiking the Oregon Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • 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
  • The Dog Lover's Companion to Oregon by Val Mallinson

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.