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Spring Lake to Devils Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Spring Lake, Lincoln City (bobcat)
Footbridge, Spring Lake Trail, Lincoln City (bobcat)
Skunk-cabbage, Regatta Grounds Park, Lincoln City (bobcat)
Big spruce, Regatta Grounds Park, Lincoln City (bobcat)
Approximate routes described for Spring Lake Open Space and Regatta Grounds Park (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Port Avenue TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Devils Lake
  • Hike Type: Loops with spurs
  • Distance: 2.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 295 feet
  • High Point: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

Spring Lake is a 25-acre open space in Lincoln City between the coast and Devils Lake: in the long sliver of development, this is a very tranquil spot. The park is composed of secondary forest with Sitka spruce and western hemlock; there are regenerating clearcuts at the north and east ends of the open space. The shallow lake has its own population of rough-skinned newts. The woods here are offer some rewards for birdwatchers, especially for passerines such as warblers in the spring and fall, and black-tailed deer often wander through. From this forested haven, you can walk to Regatta Grounds Park on Devils Lake, where you can admire some large Sitka spruce before descending to the shore of this three-mile long body of water.

Note: The Spring Lake Open Space is laced with paths going off every few yards, so the directions below could be confusing. The trails here can also be muddy and uneven, so it's best just to roam at will, trying to keep to the perimeter of the park so you make the most of it.

A rooty trail leads down from the parking area through hemlock/spruce woods and joins the trail that goes around Spring Lake. Go right along the lakeshore and reach 14th Street. Go left and walk past the sign for Spring Lake Open Space and, heading uphill, meet a wide, duff trail leading into the woods. This is lush hemlock/Sitka spruce forest. A loop spur leads down to the lake and a bench. Retrace steps back up to the main trail and keep along it, continuing uphill under salmonberry and alders. Go right and then right again in this maze of trails and keep steeply up on a muddy track. The trail winds up under salal and alders and then comes to a junction in a Sitka spruce grove. Here, go left (right leads to a house) in a salal thicket and keep along the edge of a clearcut. Make a right into the salal and then keep left under ivy-draped Sitka spruce. Keep right at a four-way trail junction and follow the ridgeline down on a trail that bends left along a slope to descend to 14th Street.

Go left on 14th Street, and walk about 130 yards to the entrance to Regatta Grounds Park. Go left at the entrance and find the beginning of the nature trail, which should be signposted. Enter a thicket of salmonberry, hemlock, spruce, elderberry, alder, salal and sword fern. The trail splits under large alders. Keep left and head uphill. Notice the huge spruce down to the right. The trail splits again, the left fork leading up to a road. Bear right and down under spruce and hemlock. You'll find a pair of big spruce down here, too. Enter a thicket composed of ivy, salmonberry, elderberry, and holly. The trail rises again. The big spruce is to your right and a spur leads left to a junction with a trail leading downhill. Keep left at the next junction and then go right up to a shelter at the Regatta Grounds Trailhead overlooking Devils Lake, with the Sandcastle Playground serving as a backdrop. You can also descend to walk the dock here at one of the few public access points to Devils Lake, which is mostly ringed by private property. In contrast, to little Spring Lake, here jet skis and motor boats rule. Keep your eyes peeled for the monster that lives beneath the lake's waters and for which it is named, according to Native American legend. The lake's other distinction is that at one time it was the most polluted body of water in the state.

Walk back to the entrance to Regatta Grounds Park and then along 14th to the trail on which you exited Spring Lake Open Space. Retrace to the four-way junction, and go right up to the hilltop water tower. Keep down a road track from the water tower, and then take a spur sharp left around a large log and head down through a Scots broom-dominated clearcut. The trail turns left, levels and comes to a junction in the middle of the clearcut. Go right and down to another junction, where you go right again. Go right at the next junction and then keep straight at a four-way junction. Pick up a rooty trail under Sitka spruce and hemlock. Head down some steps and cross a plank footbridge in a skunk-cabbage swamp at the north end of the lake. Walk along the western shore of the lake to the junction with a sign that says “to the ridge” and head up to the parking lot.

A wide paved trail leads from the parking lot north. This is the Port Lake Trail: it goes for a few hundred yards above an alder/salmonberry thicket until it meets Port Avenue.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fees
  • Dogs on leash
  • Restrooms, playground, picnic tables at Regatta Grounds Park

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • The Dog Lover's Companion to the Pacific Northwest by Val Mallinson

More Links


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.