|The rocky entrance to mermaid beach. Photo by Kory Bowlin.
My little brother didn’t believe me when I told him I was a mermaid. Of course, that was before I led him on an adventure to Lincoln City’s secret beach.
The Oregon Coast is a favorite spot for my family. We go every year, even amid the classic rainstorms that fly in like eagles with prey in sight to completely soak the shorelines. For family getaways, we prefer to rent a house near the beach — Beach Front Vacation Rentals offers a wide variety of cottages and houses — so we can cook seafood in our own kitchen while it storms outside.
It was one such stormy day at Land’s End Beach when Sam, my youngest brother, asked me why I didn’t mind being on the beach in the rain.
“I’m a mermaid,” I replied.
Sam was 10 at the time. He dubiously stared down at my very separate legs and said, “No, you aren’t.”
“Fine, if you don’t believe, I won’t take you to my secret mermaid cove,” I replied. This caused his 10-year-old eyes to grow wide.
He followed me silently as we headed off down Land’s End Beach. His excitement soon grew uncontainable. “Where is the cove? Are we going to swim to it? Will there be pirates?”
I smiled in my elusive, big-sisterly way and challenged him to a race across the sand. I won the race only because of a very distracting sea shell that caught Sam’s eye mid-stride.
When we reached the outcropping of rocks on the far right-hand side of the beach, we began to climb. Over the rocks we went until our feet touched sand again. Sam looked around in awe.
Before us was a beach with no people. There were arches and caves carved into the rock, endless locations to find treasure and adventure. We spent the next hour exploring as many nooks as we could until the tide began to come back in. We made our escape just in time as the sea spray began to kiss the rocky gateway to our secret beach.
True to his pre-teen nature, Sam grew hungry for pizza on our return hike. We picked up the best in town from Gallucci’s Pizzeria on Hwy. 101, then returned to the beach for an evening picnic.
Personally, I would have preferred some freshly-caught seafood from Barnacle Bill’s — its smoked salmon is beyond description. For some sit-down seafood, Local Ocean Seafoods in Newport is the place to go. The food is always fresh, delicious and worth the drive.
On days when the tide is too high to go on your own secret beach explorations, you can view the secret beach from above. There’s a short but steep hike that leads from the north end of Logan Road.
The road dead-ends at two gates, and the left-hand one is the trailhead. Make sure to stay to the right at all times as the left path leads to a private residence. The trail is short and sweet, leading through forest and then up one major hill where you’ll find a beautiful view of the secret beach below and vistas of the ocean horizon before you.
From Eugene, take I-5 North to I-105 East, then take OR-22 West to US-101 South and follow for about an hour to arrive in Lincoln City.