Just as much a part of Umpqua Lighthouse State Park as Umpqua River Lighthouse and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Lake Marie makes a perfect day trip from the Reedsport area. A generous day use area starts with a sandy beach that is a perfect spot for families looking for a tame, freshwater break from the waves. Several picnic tables extend for a few hundred yards northeast around the lake. While many of these are well shaded and tucked away in the trees, a more open and exposed day use area is just north of the lake near the restrooms.
Lake Marie is non-motorized. If you can’t get out for a quick paddle, the Lake Marie Trail that encircles the lake is an enjoyable walk. This short, family-friendly loop is a great complement to a lighthouse tour. The trail leads through a mature coastal forest of Douglas fir, shore pine, and spruce, with an understory dominated by salal, rhododendron, vine maple, and fern. Small signs identify the plant species you encounter along the way and include some interesting facts. For instance, did you know that Douglas firs are nocturnal drinkers, taking up half of the water they will need for the next day in overnight binges?
As you walk around the lake, you will encounter a number of paths that lead away from the water. These are the trail access points for the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park Campground, which enjoys a privileged position overlooking the lake. Stay low and near the shore to stick to the Lake Marie Trail. Several more secluded swimming opportunities present themselves as the trail reaches the east and south shores. The lake has good fishing, though plenty of vegetation holds the souvenirs from blind backcasts.