More than once I’ve sought online for a walking destination near Siletz Bay. Each time I found places suitable for self-propelled watercraft and also long-distance hikes in zones not far from designated hunting areas, but nothing fitting for short-range pedestrians. So I was both pleased and surprised when my husband and I pulled into a parking lot with a water view on the south side of Lincoln City to have a snack. Looking north we could see a gazebo set in grass next to what would be the Siletz Bay water’s edge at high tide but was a wide span of damp sand at low. Heading there once satiated, we discovered Siletz Bay Park.

Hidden it is not – it was bustling with locals, primarily young families. Digging in the sand or resting against one of many driftwood tree trunks were favored activities. Folks were out in full force at low tide.

Located in the Taft district of Lincoln City, Siletz Bay Park has a lovely view of Siletz Bay, some nearby lonely tree islets, and more distant beachfront homes near where the bay approaches the ocean. The gazebo is packed with signs covered in educational notes on regional history and wildlife. I was surprised how much I learned from these!

Gazebo

50 Steps Wheels:

Situated a few feet above the shoreline, a gazebo containing abundant interpretive signs sits in the lawn next to Siletz Bay.

One of the signs in the gazebo’s hexagon center explains spring and neap tides. Except for a few-year jaunt in a couple of the southwestern states I have lived within driving distance of the Pacific Ocean all my life, but these tidal concepts were new to me. Based on the observation that this portion of the bay had little water and lots of soggy sand, I suspect our visit was during a spring low tide – which occurs biweekly when the sun, moon, and earth are in alignment – and being in July, it was one of the more extreme variances.

Another sign describes the variety of birds in the area, which includes feathered species from many categories. Land birds, waders and shorebirds, surface feeding birds, and diving birds are all denizens of Siletz Bay.

Not only a learning opportunity, the gazebo provides some shelter from the elements and has an excellent view of all the sights described and pictured on this page. Of all there is to see, I think the trio of rocks in the bay in front of the gazebo was my favorite point of interest.

Walk Details for Gazebo
Terrain: Level paved path. Grass to access all picnic tables save one, which is reached via only pavement.
Seating: Benches along one side of the gazebo. Four round cement picnic tables in park.
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: Less than 50 steps from parking on sidewalk.
Directions: From the south end of Lincoln City, turn west off Highway 101 at the Siletz Bay Park sign (which is just south of the Waters Edge Condominiums). Gazebo is visible from parking.

Sand

75 Steps Wheels:

Skirting the edge of Schooner Creek as it merges with Siletz Bay, the beach at Siletz Bay Park is a popular destination for clamming when the tide is out. To the east you see Schooner Creek Bridge, part of Highway 101. According to a gazebo placard, this creek crossing was a swinging rope bridge in its early days and then a covered bridge before the concrete structure in use today. It’s fun to imagine these earlier times while investigating the area.

The sand is close and great for walking, but reaching it can be a challenge. To do so you must make your way off the west corner of the lawn. At some spots the footing can be tricky and you may have to avoid or climb over driftwood logs to reach the open sand for a beach stroll. Unfortunately, we did not get any pictures of the beach entrance for me to share.

If you’d prefer an easier approach to the sand, you may want to head north one block to Southwest 51st Street, then turn left on South Inlet Avenue. I have not been there (yet), but on Google Maps it looks like it is more level and cleared of beach debris. (If you investigate this area, please let me know what you find!)

Walk Details for Sand
Terrain: Pavement followed by grass and then a descent to the sand. Driftwood may obstruct access.
Seating: Perhaps on driftwood, although check for stability.
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: Less than 50 steps from parking on sidewalk.
Directions: From the south end of Lincoln City, turn west off Highway 101 at the Siletz Bay Park sign (which is just south of the Waters Edge Condominiums). Head to the west corner of the lawn.