Blacklock Point from Floras Lake 1-24-19

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bobcat
Posts: 1944
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Location: SW Portland

Blacklock Point from Floras Lake 1-24-19

Post by bobcat » January 31st, 2019, 12:18 pm

The area south of Coos Bay was experiencing one of their balmy weather windows, so I took advantage and spent a few days hitting some of the highlights. On this particular morning, I traveled to Boice Cope County Park, south of Bandon, in order to access Floras Lake “State Park”, actually a large and undeveloped property that’s not even on the State Parks website!

Floras Lake itself is a shallow coastal lake that was once the site of one of those land speculations based on the premise that a new town, Lakeport by the Sea, would become the “Venice of the West” once a canal was built to connect Floras Lake with the ocean. Advertisements explained “why Lakeport is destined to become one of the largest cities of the Pacific Coast.” By 1909, more than 400 hundred people had moved there. When canal construction began, it was belatedly discovered that the lake was somewhat above sea level and would instantly drain into the sea! Nothing remains of Lakeport.

New River at Floras Lake, Boice Cope County Park.jpg
Floras Lake, Boice Cope County Park.jpg
Rock veins, Floras Lake Beach, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Cliffs, Floras Lake Beach, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Airport Creek, Floras Lake Beach, Floras Lake State Park.jpg

I crossed the bridge over the New River, which drains Floras Lake and then proceeds to run 7 ½ miles north behind the foredunes before draining into the ocean. This “new” river predates Lakeport by the Sea, but not by much, and was created by an 1890 deluge that altered the hydrology of the area. Then I walked along the shore of Floras Lake and out to the beach. Soon I was slogging the steep sands below colorful bluffs that are washed by waves at high tide. When I reached a creek, I turned inland to find a rather scraggly trail that led through the salal and then a dark tunnel of stunted spruce. I encountered the Oregon Coast Trail’s inland route at a rather wobbly footbridge lashed to a tree, and headed south above the forested cliffs. An unmarked spur trail led off to a clifftop view of Oregon’s most shapely natural arch down on the beach.

Spruce woods, Airport Creek, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Bridge over Airport Creek, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Airport Creek, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Natural arch, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Oregon Coast Trail, Floras Lake State Park.jpg

Then, it was a hike south through the woods, passing junctions with shorter access trails from the Cape Blanco Airport, to get closer clifftop views of Blacklock Point and its array of sea stacks dominated by Tower Rock.

View to Tower Rock, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Tower Rock view, Blacklock Point, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Clifftop view, Blacklock Point, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Tunnel of spruce, Blacklock Point, Floras Lake State Park.jpg

I headed out to the point for a more intimate encounter with this dark and rubbly peninsula, getting views south to the mouth of the Sixes River and Cape Blanco, with even larger stacks like Castle Rock offshore. Groups of Canada geese were gathered on rock islands, and temperatures rose above 60 degrees.

Looking south to Cape Blanco, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Sea stack, Blacklock Point, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Goose haven, Blacklock Point, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Blacklock Point to Tower Rock, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Tower Rock from Blacklock Point, Floras Lake State Park.jpg

On the way back, I took the inland route from the creek to access the west shore of Floras Lake.

Mossy spruce forest, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Deer fern gully, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Coast silktassel (Garrya elliptica), Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Ancient driftwood and Floras Lake, Floras Lake State Park.jpg
Shore of Floras Lake, Floras Lake State Park.jpg

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retired jerry
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Re: Blacklock Point from Floras Lake 1-24-19

Post by retired jerry » January 31st, 2019, 12:31 pm

thanks

I've been on maybe 5% of that and keep meaning to come back, maybe spend a couple nights

that is really scenic and a nice wild section of beach hiking

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kelkev
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: McMinnville, OR

Re: Blacklock Point from Floras Lake 1-24-19

Post by kelkev » January 31st, 2019, 5:21 pm

That's a neat stretch of coastline hiking. I think I've passed one hiker in the 3 times I've hiked that area.
"Going to the mountains is going home."
— John Muir

olderthanIusedtobe
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Joined: January 2nd, 2014, 10:45 am

Re: Blacklock Point from Floras Lake 1-24-19

Post by olderthanIusedtobe » February 1st, 2019, 2:22 pm

I really like that area. Hiked it once from the airport and another time from the lake. Somehow I missed the arch though. When I hiked from Floras it was windy as hell and the lake was swarming w/ windsurfers and kite boarders. Come to think of it, it was also very windy at the Point the other time I did it as well. Thanks for the history about the now non-existent town at the lake, very interesting.

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bobcat
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Location: SW Portland

Re: Blacklock Point from Floras Lake 1-24-19

Post by bobcat » February 3rd, 2019, 8:56 pm

retired jerry wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 12:31 pm
keep meaning to come back, maybe spend a couple nights
There are a couple of sheltered campsites on the south side of Blacklock Point, but no fresh water there that I could see.
olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 2:22 pm
Somehow I missed the arch though.
If you're on the beach at low tide, it's 250 yards south of the creek. Otherwise, heading up out of the creek gully on the inland trail, look for the trails going towards the cliffs.

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