Bayocean Spit

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Seasons

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Location

Bayocean Peninsula Park (45.519379, -123.947527) is the main access point for Bayocean Spit. The park is located about 8 miles northwest of Tillamook.

To reach the site from the intersection of Highway 101 and 3rd St./Netarts Highway 131 in Tillamook, travel west on 3rd St./Netarts Highway 131 for 1.7 miles to Bayocean Rd. Turn right (west), travel 5.0 miles to Bayocean Dike Rd. Turn right (north) and travel 0.9 miles to a parking area, with trailheads, and portable toilets. This is a Tillamook County day use fee area with a fee kiosk.

Cape Meares Lake (45.505632, -123.951696) is a freshwater lake at the base of the Bayocean Peninsula. To reach the site from Bayocean Peninsula Park, return to the intersection of Bayocean Dike Rd. and Bayocean Rd. Turn right (west), travel 0.3 miles to a boat launch on the right.

Memaloose Pt. Boat Launch (45.471379, -123.891227) is located along Bayocean Road about 1.4 miles from the intersection of Highway 131 and Bayocean Rd. This is a Tillamook County day use fee area with a boat launch, parking area, and restrooms.

Bayocean Spit – Oregon Birding Trail: Choose the Oregon Coast Birding Trail, click on the North Coast tab and go to section 33.

NOAA Tide information for Bay City applies to this site.

 

Directions

Habitat and Birds

Bayocean Spit is a 3.5-mile long peninsula with open ocean and beach habitats on the west, and bay shore tide flat habitat on the east. Between the shores is a mix of dune, willow patches, coastal Sitka Spruce/Western Hemlock forest, and Shore Pine forest habitat. There are two trailheads. First, at the northwest corner of the parking area, there is a trail to the west through the dunes to the beach. Second, at the northeast corner of the parking area is the main gated access road that runs north the length of the peninsula to the south jetty of Tillamook Bay. The road is closed to vehicles.

One approach is to create your own bird loop trail. Walk up the peninsula, either via the beach or the road, then return to the parking area using the other route. The length of the loop can be varied by using the numerous trails crossing the peninsula from the beach to the road. Walking the entire peninsula loop is about 8 miles round trip.

Another common route is to walk up the road for about 0.8 miles to the forest edge, then continue in the forest for another 0.5 mile. Return via the same route. This out-and-back route covers both the tidal areas and forested habitats.

Winter waterfowl flocks can be very large. Species include Brant, Surf, White-winged, and with luck Black Scoters, American and Eurasian Wigeon, Canvasback, and Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Shorebirds include Semi-palmated, Black-bellied, and Snowy Plovers (west), Whimbrel, Marbled Godwit, Red Knot, Dunlin, Baird’s, Pectoral, Least, and Western Sandpipers. Historically most of the shorebird species that have been seen in the state have shown up here at one time or another. At high tide, shorebirds often move from the bay to the beaches or the salicornia and tidelands east of the parking lot.

Other birds include Peregrine Falcon and Rufous Hummingbird. Passerines include Wrentit, Red Crossbill, Palm Warbler, and Chestnut-backed Chickadee.

Shorebirds are best observed at this site on rising tides from 3.0 to 5.2 ft., see tide link above.

Cape Meares Lake is a freshwater lake adjacent to the ocean and bay. Scan the lake at stops while traveling westerly from the base of Bayocean spit and the Cape Meares Beach parking area in the dunes (beach access). The northeast portion of the lake can be viewed from the southbound dike road from Bayocean Peninsula Park. Winter waterfowl include Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-neck Ducks, and both Scaups. Willow thickets around the lake have produced some vagrants.

Memaloose Pt. Boat Launch is worth a stop while traveling to or from the spit. It can be busy during the fall salmon fishing season.

eBird Checklists:

eBird Hotspot checklist for Bayocean Spit–ocean (west) side 

eBird Hotspot checklist for Bayocean Spit–bay (east) side

eBird Hotspot checklist for Bayocean Spit

eBird Hotspot checklist for Cape Meares Lake

eBird Hotspot checklist for Memaloose Pt. Boat Launch

 

 

 

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