Share:

New River ACEC Trails

Southern Oregon Coast + Rogue River, Oregon

Start Exploring
New River ACEC Trails

Share:

  • The Storm Ranch Entrance to the New River ACEC is the most developed access to the area.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The Nature Centure at Storm Ranch has been recently remodeled and is a fantastic resource for visitors.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The Nature Center at the New River ACEC.- New River ACEC Trails
  • To walk the large loop counterclockwise, begin on the North Trail.- New River ACEC Trails
  • North Trail, New River ACEC.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The New River trails lead through healthy and protected habitat that is a home for several unique plant species.- New River ACEC Trails
  • Portions of the trail are sandy.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The boat ramp for the New River.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The boat ramp for the New River.- New River ACEC Trails
  • A great spot to observe shorebirds on the New River.- New River ACEC Trails
  • Note that the boat ramp is seasonally closed to motor traffic to protect wildlife.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The New River has a very slight gradient, and it is especially calm when the water is low late in the season.- New River ACEC Trails
  • Portions of this loop include the road that leads to the boat ramp.- New River ACEC Trails
  • Returning to the trail.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The New River Spur leaves the loop for a quick detour to the river.- New River ACEC Trails
  • New River.- New River ACEC Trails
  • New River.- New River ACEC Trails
  • A wildlife observation blind on the shores of Muddy Lake.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The spur to the old cranberry bog only adds another 20 minutes to the hike.- New River ACEC Trails
  • This cranberry bog was active from 1914 through 1950. Naturally occuring clay-rich Blacklock layers at the bottom of the bogs keep water from absorbing into the earth.- New River ACEC Trails
  • The stagnate water naturally becomes acidic as plants decompose, creating a perfect environment for wild cranberries.- New River ACEC Trails
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Unique riparian area. Unique flora. Loop trail options. Nature center.
Cons: 
None.
Region:
Southern Oregon Coast + Rogue River, OR
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
40.00 ft (12.19 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.15 mi (5.07 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
15.00 ft (4.57 m)
Current Local Weather:
Published in collaboration with
Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Geographically, the New River must be one of the oddest waterways on the Oregon Coast, steadfastly defying the eternal riparian imperative to merge with the closest downhill waterway until reaching the ocean. Jims Creek seems to follow the traditional course, meandering into the area from the west clearly looking for the Pacific. Willow Creek joins Jims just over a mile from the beach, also looking for the quickest way to the ocean. Finally, Floras Creek, the north-flowing outlet for nearby Floras Lake, joins the stream merely a quarter mile from the surf, give or take a high tide. Then, incredibly, this trio of waterways turns sharply north, becomes the New River, and wanders for about 9 miles on a north course parallel to the Pacific before it finally swerves into the surf.

The river may have been formed by a high water event in 1890, when a raging Floras Creek skipped a turn west to continue on its push north, carving a new channel behind an existing bank of dunes. Beach grass was introduced in the 1930s, and the shifting sand barrier that may have temporarily separated the new river from the ocean became more of a permanent wall. Currently there are several breaks in the dunes where the New River can reach the ocean during higher flows, but any dune shift that might have normally filled in the Floras Creek channel over time has been arrested by beach grass.

Regardless, the river pushes through a very unique area that sees traffic from a wide variety of wading and migratory birds. Designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern by the BLM, the New River and the surrounding zone have been recognized as irreplaceable habitat for several rare species of flora. A newly remodeled learning center at the Storm Ranch access is a fantastic resource to help educate visitors about these and other notable species in the area. The best way to follow up that education is with a tour of the Storm Ranch trail system.

While there are several trails available, the loop consisting of North Trail, Ocean View Trail, West Muddy Lake Trail, and East Muddy Lake Trail is approximately 3 miles, very doable for family members of all ages, and highly recommended. The road to the boat ramp bisects the loop, so a return shortcut is always close by. If you have a little extra time and energy, check out the Old Bog Trail for a glimpse into the history of the local cranberry industry.

The New River is also open to boats, though motorized access to the ramp is closed from March 15 through September 15. Because the New River drops only 10 feet per mile over its entire length, there-and-back paddle explorations are another great option for exploring the area when water levels allow for it, and the boat ramp at Storm Ranch is an ideal access point.

Once you've finished exploring the Storm Ranch side of New River ACEC, stop off at the Floras Lake access for a hike or some wind and water sports, or camp at nearby Boice-Cope County Park for an extended stay.

Note that areas in the Bandon State Natural AreaNew River Area of Critical Environmental Concern, and around Floras Lake are considered nesting habitat for the western snowy plover; dogs and other specified recreational activities are prohibited in certain areas between March 15 and September 15 to accommodate nesting and encourage the recovery of this threatened species.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

Download
Published in collaboration with
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(35 within a 30 mile radius)

Published in collaboration with
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
13 Members
Who's Done It
4 Members
Submission by
Team
368 Adventures Explored
344 Adventures Published

Published in collaboration with The People's Coast

A profound concept originally envisioned by governor Oswald West, in 1967 the Oregon legislature ultimately realized his vision of making the entire Oregon Coast forever open to the public in a piece of landmark legislation titled the Oregon Beach Bill, officially making all 363 miles public land. "The People's Coast" is truly a one-of-a-kind coastline, a unique blend of mountains and rocky stacks, towering old growth forests, marine sanctuaries, tide pools and kelp forests, charming towns, historic fishing communities, world-class golfing, breweries, and simply jaw-dropping scenic beaches. We encourage you to plan your next trip at visittheoregoncoast.com or by calling (541) 574-2679.

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info