Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge

7000 Christensen Road, Off Hwy 101 6 miles south of Pacific City, Pacific City, Oregon 97112 USA

“come & explore the trails of the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge”

Cannery Hill headland on Nestucca Bay, added to NWR in 2013. Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge on Oregon's coast. It lies in southern Tillamook County, on the state's northern coast. It is one of six National Wildlife Refuges comprising the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex and supports one tenth of the world's dusky Canada goose population. The refuge contains at least seven types of habitat, including tidal marsh, tidal mudflats, grassland, woodland, pasture, forested lagg—a transition between raised peat bog and mineral soil—and freshwater bogs, including the southernmost coastal Sphagnum bog habitat on the Pacific Coast. The Sphagnum bog provides habitat for many interesting and unusual species, such as the insect-eating sundew plant and the bog cranberry. Scientists have discovered many layers of sand and peat under Neskowin Marsh indicating a long history of tsunami activity which carries sand from the coastal sand dunes. These might be the best record of tsunami activity within the Cascadia subduction zone. Chinook and coho salmon, coastal cutthroat trout and steelhead are all native to the Nestucca Bay and River system. November through April, the refuge’s short grass pastures provide winter habitats for the previously mentioned dusky Canada goose and the Aleutian cackling goose. Notable winged residents include a variety of migrating shorebirds, peregrine falcons and bald eagles. The refuge was established in 1991, and is on Nestucca Bay at the confluence of the Nestucca and Little Nestucca rivers, ranging 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 km) south of Pacific City. Across the bay to the west is Nestucca Spit and Robert W. Straub state parks. The refuge is closed to all public use, except during two special events: one in February and one in October. A viewing area is planned for construction, probably in 2008. In 2010, Oregon writer Matt Love published a book about his experience serving as caretaker of the site for nine years during the restoration of the preserve from a one-time dairy farm back to its natural state. "Gimme Refuge: The Education of a Caretaker" Nestucca Spit Press.

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Reviewed by
Travel Oregon

  • Expert
  • 5,385 Reviews
  • 2,158 Helpful
June 17, 2015

Come visit and explore the trails of Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The patient observer will be rewarded with many wildlife viewing opportunities on the refuge. The Cannery Hill Unit is open daily from sunrise to sunset. There are two parking lots on the Cannery Hill Unit. The Pacific View Parking Area has minimal parking so we encourage you to leave your car at the first parking lot and walk the graveled Christensen Road/Trail which is a moderately difficult, 15 minute one way trip that leads you to the Pacific View Trail. Be mindful that you will be sharing the roadway with cars. On the Pacific View Trail you will experience an easy, 10 minute walk on a paved surface with rest benches. The trail ends at an observation deck where you will be treated to a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean, Haystack Rock, Nestucca Bay, the Coast Range, and the Little Nestucca River.

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Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge

7000 Christensen Road, Off Hwy 101 6 miles south of Pacific City
Pacific City, Oregon
97112 USA

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