Recreational Areas in Florence
Devil's Elbow State Park. A ½-mile trail from the beachside parking lot leads to Heceta Head Lighthouse, whose beacon, visible for more than 21 miles, is the most powerful on the Oregon Coast. U.S. 101, Florence, OR, 97439. 541/547–3696 or 800/551–6949. www.oregonstateparks.org. Day use $5, lighthouse tours free.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Open year-round, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America, extending for 40 miles, from Florence to Coos Bay. The area contains some of the best ATV riding in the United States, with 5,930 acres of open sand and 6,140 acres with designated trails. More than 1.5 million people visit the dunes each year, and about 350,000 are ATV users, nearly half of them from outside Oregon. Honeyman Memorial State Park, 522 acres within the recreation area, is a base camp for dune-buggy enthusiasts, mountain bikers, hikers, boaters, horseback riders, and dogsledders (the sandy hills are an excellent training ground). It's campground has 41 full sites ($26); 121 electrical ($26); 187 tent sites ($21); hiker/biker sites ($5); and yurts ($39). The dunes are a vast playground for children, particularly the slopes surrounding cool Cleawox Lake. 855 U.S. 101 (office), Reedsport, OR, 97467. 541/271–6000. Day use $5. Office hours Mon.–Fri. 8–4:30 (aslo open Sat. in summer).
Sandland Adventures. This has everything you need to get the whole family together for the ride of their lives. Start off with a heart-racing dune-buggy ride with a professional that will take you careening up, over, down, and around some of the steepest sand in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. After you're done screaming and smiling, Sandland's park has bumper boats, a go-kart track, a miniature golf course, and a small railroad. 85366 U.S. 101, Florence, OR, 97439. 541/997-8087. www.sandland.com.
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