Friday, June 7, 2013

Oregon's Umpqua Lighthouse State Park & Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Umpqua Lighthouse
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park  is located south of Reedport, less than a mile from the famous Salmon Harbor on Winchester Bay.

The 65-foot Umpqua River Lighthouse towers above the entrance to Winchester Bay on a hill 100 feet above sea level surrounded by US Coast Guard buildings and a museum. This sentinel of the ocean contains a distinctive lens which emits a red and white flash some 20 miles out to sea.

"An earlier light structure, the first on the Oregon Coast, was built in 1857 on the south side of the river. It fell into the swollen water seven years later during a storm when the water eroded away the sand. The current lighthouse was started in 1890 and was illuminated in 1894. It is the sister lighthouse to the one at Heceta Head just a few miles north of Florence. Both structures were built from the same plans."

The lighthouse and museum are operated and maintained by the Douglas County Parks Department. Tours are offered May 1-Sept. 30. (Closed on Monday-Tuesday, according to Reserve America).

Freshwater Lake Marie sits within the Umpqua State Park. (Julianne G. Crane)

The adjacent Oregon State Park campground and developed day use areas are centered around beautiful freshwater Lake Marie. There is a pleasant trail around the perimeter of the lake. Access to this small lake is provided for angling and non-motorized boating. There is also a small sandy beach set aside for swimming or just relaxing.

For lots and lots more sand, a short distance away is an impressive stretch of towering sand dunes protected by the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Jimmy Smith walking Oregon Dunes near Umpqua State Park. (Julianne G. Crane)
We walked along the dunes, many of which reach heights of 500 feet. Off-road four-wheeler enthusiasts enjoy the dunes in designated areas nearby.  For more information about the dunes and the recreational opportunities offered, contact the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area visitor center in nearby Reedsport or call (541) 271-3611.

Campers may experience late night noise from Dune Fest from July 30-Aug 4, 2013.

Campsite overlooking Lake Marie
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park Campground information

Approximately 10 full hookup sites
Approximately 9 electrical & water
More than 20 tent sites with water nearby
Two rustic yurts
Six deluxe yurts (one pet-friendly)
Two rustic log cabins
Hiker/biker camp
Hot showers and flush toilets

Reservations on line: Click here
By phone: Mon-Fri: 800.452-5687

To read additional articles about RV lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane, go to RVWheelLife.com.
To read more about our stay at the campground, click here.

Photos by Julianne G. Crane:  Click on pictures to enlarge. (From top) Umpqua Lighthouse; Lake Marie; Oregon Dunes; our campsite overlooking Lake Marie, as seen from the trail.

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