Lone Ranch Beach was our first stop on a quest to scout Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor for 100 Steps. It is the most southern turnout along the 12-mile stretch of southern coast honoring the founder of Oregon state parks.

From the parking lot I could see the beginning section of the path, but seating options seemed dubious. I was hopeful to uncover all possible gems for limited walkers, though, so I surprised my husband by saying, “Let’s give it a shot.”

We geared up against the damp morning air and headed down the trail. I made it to a switchback, placed for wheelchair accessibility rather than sheer steepness. Pavement continued for nearly as far as I had already walked with no visible benches. Hope sinking, I thought it best to return.

Back in the car, I felt unsettled. Had we missed something? I looked at my husband…could he try again? Of course he did (dear man that he is!). He found that bushes obscured a row of beachfront picnic tables just beyond sight of where I had halted.

I nearly bypassed this spot, but after exploring this beautiful State Park for two days, I would place it in the top three walks of the area.

Picnic area

200 Steps Wheels:

This picnic area offers front row seating to a craggy rock-covered beach carved into the coast just south of a cape. You’re nearly halfway when you reach the sharp turn. Once seated, you can watch the ocean splash against an assortment of low, tall, rectangular and pointy rocks in the nearby bay.

Walk Details for Picnic area
Terrain: Rough pavement, one person wide, with a gradual decline to the picnic tables.
Seating: A picnic area of a half dozen beachside tables.
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: On the right while entering the parking lot. They are reached via a paved trail within 50 steps.
Directions: North of Brookings on Highway 101, Arch Rock Viewpoint is the most southern stop in Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. The turn to the parking lot is clearly marked with a State Park sign. Use the trail on the west side of the parking lot.

Beach

Stroll Wheels:

After the last picnic table, there is a small drop off to reach the beach. Like many Oregon beaches, driftwood and rocks are plentiful obstacles. You can scope it out from the picnic area or trail before venturing to the sand. If it seems dubious, but you’re itching for beach walking, Harris Beach State Park’s day use area is a safe bet.

Walk Details for Beach
Terrain: Sand, driftwood, rocks
Seating: Not guaranteed, but perhaps a good-sized rock or log (well away from the surf, for safety)
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: On the right while entering the parking lot. They are reached via a paved trail within 50 steps.
Directions: Continuing from the Picnic Area described above, beach access is shortly past the 6th picnic table.

Northern loop

200+ Steps Wheels:

There are two options when you’re done viewing or strolling the beach: return as you came or complete the loop. Continuing is roughly twice the distance. Whichever way you choose, the return walk is up a moderate incline.

Walk Details for Northern loop
Terrain: Rough pavement, one person wide, with a moderate incline.
Seating: Two picnic tables in the bushes, reached via grass. Don’t know exactly where along the trail these are to be found.
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: On the right while entering the parking lot. They are reached via a paved trail within 50 steps.
Directions: Continue on the trail from the Picnic Area described above, sticking to the pavement. When you reach a fork in the path, the right side is the route back to indicated parking; the left side heads to the restrooms.