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Guest Author | 12/06/2021 | Biking, Bird Watching, Fishing , Hiking, Itineraries, Nature Walks/Trails, Outdoor Recreation, Scenic Byway, Wildlife

Stops Along the Marys Peak to Pacific Coast Scenic Byway: Alsea Falls

For anyone looking to turn a daytrip along the Marys Peak to Pacific Coast Scenic Byway into an overnight or weekend getaway, camping is a good option.

A short side-trip off the Scenic Byway will bring you to the Alsea Falls Recreation Area, where you can enjoy hiking and biking, fishing, and other outdoors activities. There's also lots of great camping spots, which makes it easy to turn this drive into an all-weekend vacation.

Alsea Falls Recreation Area, near Alsea Falls, by MAC - The beautiful Alsea River runs through this heavily-wooded recreational area.Alsea Falls

This is a beautiful road that is a designated National Back Country Byway and a State Scenic Byway. Forests in all stages of growth line the winding road that follows the South Fork of the Alsea River. The South Fork of the Alsea River flows through the Alsea Falls Recreation Site, cascading down thirty feet to form Alsea Falls.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for management and stewardship of public lands in and immediately surrounding the Alsea Falls Recreation Site.

The Alsea Falls Recreation Area is a good example of the many resources and uses the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provides the public. The BLM is committed to protecting and improving these public lands to serve the needs of the American people. One use that is particularly popular in this region is mountain biking. The main take-off point for mountain bike trails is the Fall Creek trailhead. The access road for the trailhead and parking area is halfway between the day-use and camping sites of Alsea Falls Recreation Area. There are 12 miles (19 km) of trails built for all skill levels of mountain biker. Hikers are welcome to use the trails too.

Corvallis-based mountain bike club Team Dirt is a primary partner with the BLM at the Fall Creek trail network. Team Dirt provides hundreds of hours each year to maintain and construct trails in the area. The trail network was built by a combination of BLM, Team Dirt, and contractor labor.

In addition to cycling and hiking, Alsea Falls offers camping, picnicking, fishing, and sightseeing in and around the recreation site. Hunting can occur away from the designated recreation areas in the approved season.

Alsea Falls is the end of upstream migration for most anadromous fish in the South Fork Alsea River. The falls creates a barrier for which many of the Endangered Species Act listed fish, such as Oregon Coast coho salmon, fall chinook salmon, and winter steelhead, cannot cross. In contrast, resident cutthroat trout are present above the falls. Consult Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations for fishing opportunities and seasons for above and below the falls.

Swimming in Corvallis, Oregon - Alsea RiverAlsea River, by Lainey Morse

The tall cedar and Douglas fir trees along the Alsea River create a serene setting to enjoy a picnic lunch or evening campfire. Marys Peak to the Pacific Scenic Byway has a handful of campgrounds and many day-use areas to enjoy during your trip. River Edge Recreation Site, Blackberry Campground, and Salmonberry Campground all offer camping during various seasons. The campgrounds have vaulted toilets, campfire rings, picnic tables, and river access. Salmonberry Campground takes online reservations through the Benton County Parks website. In addition to campsites and RV spots it has rental cabins and yurts.

Benton County and Siuslaw National Forest have created a unique camping opportunity to sleep in a cabin with years of regional history. The Alsea Guard Station is a Depression-Era fire guard station that is operated as a rental cabin. It is across the highway from Mill Creek Park just west of the town of Alsea. The cabin can accommodate up to seven people and makes for a great place for a quiet retreat or a night’s rest before salmon fishing on the Alsea River.

For day-use, you can also head to Mill Creek, Campbell County and Clemens Parks. Swimming on the many beaches of the Alsea River is popular during the summer. Boat ramps are available for launching drift boats at Blackberry Campground, Campbell County Park, and Mill Creek.

The Alsea Falls Recreation Site also contains a variety of campsites to accommodate all types of visitors, including group and single campsites. Amenities within the campground include drinking water and vault toilets. Several campsites can accommodate large RVs or trailers: up to 32-feet long.

Marys Peak to Pacific Coast Scenic Byway Driving Tour App

A Driving Tour from City to Sea: Willamette Valley, Alsea River Valley & More

Come with us on a driving tour of one of Oregon’s newest scenic and historic byways. From the highest point in the Coast Range to the broad, sandy beaches of the Central Coast, follow the Alsea River on a delightfully meandering 72-mile driving tour from Corvallis to Waldport.

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