Starting at the parking area along the Sixes River behind the Hughes House, the River Trail is one of the best hikes in the park. Unlike the segments of the Oregon Coast Trail that wind across the cape highlands, this trail follows the Sixes River down to its mouth. Best done at a low tide, much of the route is along the tidal shore of the river.
The trail leaves the parking area at the gate on the west side. The first quarter mile or so passes through a sheep pasture and exits another gate. Cutting through scrub wetlands and brush, the trail is open and offers great views of the river and the rocks offshore. The vegetation eventually disappears, and the last part of the trail is on sand along the river and into the driftwood-strewn beach in front of Castle Rock. This river mouth is often filled with thousands of shore birds feeding on fish, and harbor seals and sea lions are often seen swimming in the waves at the mouth. Cape Blanco and the lighthouse can be seen in the distance to the south and Blacklock Point is visible 2 miles to the north.
Note: Though the park map and trailhead sign say the trail is 0.5 miles, it is actually about a full mile to the river's mouth.