The only recreational lake in Oregon's Coast Range, Loon Lake appeals to enthusiasts of any water sport, from motor boats to stand-up paddle boards and everything in-between. Its picturesque setting, nestled among rugged and forested mountain slopes and isolated from any major highway, make it a must for any adventurer seeking solitude on a unique, natural body of water.
For calm waters that are minimally affected by motor boats, paddle south to the marsh that forms where Lake Creek fills Loon Lake. Or, alternatively, paddle the north end of the lake toward its drainage, Mill Creek. Paddling across the lake itself is best done along its shore, where trees seem to grow right up out of the water. And for those with fishing gear, the lake is stocked twice annually by the Oregon Department of Fish + Wildlife with bass and trout.
Loon Lake itself was formed approximately 1,400 years ago when a major landslide of sandstone sent boulders into a steep canyon, creating a natural dam allowing subsequent rain water to collect here. Unique in size, resembling somewhat of a dog-leg, it is about 2 miles long with a maximum width of 0.4 mile. The maximum depth is 150 feet.
Native Americans traveled inland from their settlements on the coast to visit Loon Lake. It was via these trails that two white settlers "discovered" it in 1852 and named it for the large amount of loon ducks that once resided here. The lake did not receive much attention until the 1930s when it was used as storage for felled trees waiting to be sent down to mills along the Umpqua River. The tannins from these logs dyed the water brown.
There are many places along the lakeshore to launch your watercraft. Loon Lake Lodge and RV Resort is by far the most popular facility on the lake, and it has the only public boat dock/marina and boat ramp. Boat rentals, including paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, and Sea-Doo personal watercrafts, are available. The resort also offers substantial overnight accommodations (including the Waterfront House, cabins, yurts, a campground and RV sites) along with a beach volleyball court, Snack Shack, cafe, and swimming beach.