I have lived in Florence for over six years and other than driving though once or twice had never, until recently, stopped to enjoy Sutton Beach Recreation Site, just north of town. The “high road” to Holman Vista has great sand dune viewing. It was foggy when I was there, so I do not know if you can also see the ocean. The “low road” along the start of Sutton Creek Trail gets you in close proximity to this flowing waterway as it heads to the ocean. I enjoyed both walks on the same day, and hope to return at different times of year to experience what I suspect will be varied sights.

Thank you Dr. Ian Jarman of Café of Life in Florence for suggesting this location!

Holman Vista

200 Steps Wheels:

When I saw the large horizontal tree by the deck at Holman Vista, I was no longer disappointed we were visiting on a foggy day. The tree would not be nearly laying down without frequent and strong winds. Instead, it was calm and peaceful. Stellar jays and hummingbirds visited while my husband and I enjoyed the creek and dune views, and snapped photos of the surroundings and ourselves.

Walk Details for Holman Vista
Terrain: Slightly irregular pavement at a small upward slope to the first bench, 125 steps. Pavement and then flat decking to the destination, an additional 75 steps.
Seating: One bench, indicated as a resting spot on the map. A second bench at the destination observation deck.
Fee: Day pass, recreation pass, or camping receipt
Restrooms: Yes, 25 steps from parking up moderately steep slope.
Directions: The path to Holman Vista is clearly marked in the parking area. From the indicated parking spot, it heads south. Follow it to the observation deck.

Sutton Creek Trail

200 Steps Wheels:

Sutton Creek Trail provides access to lightly visited Sutton Beach. Although the beach is beyond the distance for 100 Steps destinations, the initial part of the trail has a bench after 50 steps and a second bench after another 75 steps. A final 75 steps allows you to reach the creek itself (no seating here). I enjoyed getting a closer view of the creek observed from Holman Vista.

Tucked in amongst the sand pines, the second bench is a nice place to rest or even picnic. The halcyon weather on the day I visited invited lingering. An osprey floated above and a dragonfly or two hovered and flitted nearby. The soft churn of the ocean echoed beyond the low dunes, and a fog horn announced land to the north for those at sea.

The trail continues to the beach, but first you must forge the stream via sloshing through the water or scaling a log a bit farther south. After that, seating options are limited to the sand and based on Google Maps it looks like it is about quarter mile from the creek to the beach – perhaps 400 to 700 steps by my guesstimation. (Well beyond my scope for walking.)

Walk Details for Sutton Creek Trail
Terrain: Pavement to bench 1, level, 50 steps. Pavement and then sand (hard packed except for the very last section) to bench 2, level, 75 steps. Loose sand from bench 2 to the creek, over a small berm as you near the creek, another 75 steps. The loose sand portions can be tough on weak knees and ankles.
Seating: Two benches, indicated as resting spots on the map.
Fee: Day pass, recreation pass, or camping receipt
Restrooms: Yes, 25 steps from parking up moderately steep slope.
Directions: Sutton Creek Trail is clearly marked in the parking area, heading west. The first bench is on the paved trail. Stay left after the pavement ends to reach the second bench. The shortest route from the second bench to the creek is straight ahead (west) from the bench.