Top 4 Accessible National Parks near Coos Bay, Oregon

Top 4 Accessible National Parks near Coos Bay, Oregon
Horsfall Beach Dunes, Oregon Coast

Coos Bay is situated in one of the most scenic areas of the Oregon Coast. Filled with a number of different National Parks, each of these areas offers something unique to visitors. From sand dunes to the seaside, hiking trails, and picnics, there's something for everyone in this area of stunning natural beauty, so why not make this your next destination?

But not everything is easy to explore. Some of these parks have difficult trails that are unsuitable for wheelchair users. This is why we take the time to check out what these different areas offer so that you can explore them in comfort. We have taken a look at the various National Parks in the area to find those that are most accessible.

For that perfect view and the best picnic, we've collected together the top accessible National Parks in and around Coos Bay. Take a look here and discover the perfect day-out adventure.

John Topits Park

Located northwest of Coos Bay, John Topits Park is a hidden gem. The park covers 120 acres of natural land just waiting to be explored. The area includes protected sand dunes right on the coastline, the Empire lakes, and a lot of natural forest. As this is a protected area, no gas-powered boats are permitted on the lakes at any time. This makes it a popular point for canoers and kayakers looking for a peaceful pastime.

John Topits Park, Coos Bay

If you want to go kayaking, then this is the place to do it. John Topits Park has ADA-accessible kayak launches. The newest of four ADA kayak launch points in the Coos Bay area, it's the perfect spot for a water adventure if that's what you're looking for. Getting to the kayak launch point is easy as all the trails in the park are wheelchair accessible with smooth tarmacked paths throughout the area. A day out on the water is also the best way to enjoy a lot of the wildlife in the area.

Access to the park as a whole is easy. There is designated accessible parking available. All areas to get to the kayak point are paved and smooth. Additionally, there is a ramp provided with a handrail down to the water's edge. The ADA kayak launch can be found near the Hull Street parking lot.

Speaking of wildlife, John Topits Park is a haven for waterfowl and other bird species, as well as a wide array of fish species. While the tranquility of the lake is the ideal place to go bird watching, if the water is not for you, then there are other options. The park itself has 5.5 miles (8.85 km) of walking and cycling trails giving you smooth, accessible ways to wander the area to your heart's content. All trails can be navigated independently for a completely inclusive and unforgettable experience when it comes to enjoying the local wildlife.

There are gentle slopes throughout the area, but these are easy to navigate thanks to the smooth paths. Seating areas throughout John Topits Park are all step-free. The public restrooms are step-free and offer ample turning space and sink clearance. In short, it's a truly inclusive day out in nature.

Accessibility details:

  • 4 accessible parking spaces.
  • Ramps and gentle slopes throughout.
  • Smooth paths and trails.
  • Step-free access to seating areas and restrooms.
  • Toilet with grab bars.
  • Service dogs are allowed.

Horsfall Beach dunes

If it's a day by the sea that you're looking for, then Horsfall Beach is an excellent place to start. Just 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Coos Bay, you'll find an accessible beach-viewing platform. There, you can simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the waves or catch a tan. But with over 1000 acres of stunning sand dunes nearby, Horsfall is also the best place to go if you're looking for a bit of an adventure. ATV riding, dune hikes, and sandboarding are all on offer here. Better still, you can do all of this while soaking in the panoramic views of the Oregon coastline.

Horsfall Beach dunes, Coos Bay

Importantly, no matter where you decide to go once you get here, the entire area is wheelchair accessible, perfect for independent exploration. Access from the parking lot to the park and trails is via a gentle ramp with handrails. All paths throughout the area are accessible, too. However, many are boardwalks without rails and can be a bit more bumpy. So, it's worth taking note of these paths to plan your route accordingly.

Accessible boardwalk

If you plan on staying for the day to spot wildlife or enjoy the views, then pack a picnic. Here are several different picnic spots around. However, as this is a National Park, please make sure you pick up after yourself. Impressively, there is also a designated disabled access toilet. Step-free with a door width of 35 in, this is a great stop point. The restroom has grab bars, sink clearance, and a turning space of more than 60 inches, making this one of the more accessible restrooms across any of the National Parks in the area.

Accessibility details:

  • Two accessible parking spots.
  • Gentle slopes and ramps.
  • Designated seating areas for people with disabilities.
  • Step-free restroom access.
  • More than 60 in turning space in restrooms.
  • Service dogs are allowed.

Cape Arago State Park

Heading southwest out of Coos Bay, you can take the Cape Arago Hwy. After 15 miles (24 km), you'll arrive at the quite literal end of the road, which will bring you to Cape Arago State Park. Make use of the accessible parking spaces and head out for your hiking adventure.

Cape Arago State Park. Coos Bay

Cape Arago is the main headland in the Coos Bay region, and it overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It's a place long-used by Native Americans and was actually the headland initially spotted by Europeans in the 1500s. As such, there's some interesting history in the area. But that's not all. The Cape is also an excellent spot for wildlife watching.

Reach the top of the headland, and you can scan the horizon for marine life. Popular sightings include whales as well as countless birds. Of course, there are also fishing boats and other ships to watch as they make their way in and out of Coos Bay itself.

If you can make it, some of the paths and trails can become quite steep and rocky, then heading down the South Cove trail takes you to the beach and various tide pools. These pools hide a myriad of fascinating creatures and plants. The North Cove trail takes you to areas for fishing, beach combing, or seal and sealion-watching. However, the north trail is closed from March through June during the pupping season to protect the wildlife.

While there is a lot on offer here, it does come at a price. For the most part, this area is not wheelchair accessible. Some paths are paved, but many are simply stone walkways. The path from the parking lot is narrow and not well kept, resulting in many bumps along the way, which is not ideal for many walkers. As such, it's essential to plan your route as there are some accessible paths and stunning viewpoints to enjoy, just not everywhere throughout Cape Arago.

There are shelters and picnic tables around the area, which add to the fun of the adventure. In short, it's not for the fainthearted. There is no accessible seating area or restroom - both have obstacles or steps to enter them.

Accessibility details:

  • Two accessible parking spaces.
  • Some accessible paths, some inaccessible paths.
  • Slopes can be steep.
  • No accessible restroom is available.
  • The seating area has obstacles or steps.
  • Service dogs are permitted.

Sunset Bay State Park

The picturesque Sunset Bay State Park is an ideal location for a relaxing day or a gentle hike— it's really down to you. If you are looking for a day off, then sunbathing, swimming, or beachcombing in this sandy area is a must. Of course, if you want to do something more adventurous, then there are plenty of trails that let you explore some of the hidden coves in this park. See if you can spot elusive wildlife or simply enjoy stunning panoramic views of Oregon's coast. In short, it's a haven for nature lovers.

Sunset Bay State Park, Coos Bay

The sandy beaches of Sunset Bay are protected by towering cliffs. But you can start your day's adventure at Sunset Beach, which is just a short walk or a wheel from the parking lot. If you want to stay longer, there are three accessible campsites and three accessible yurts nearby, but booking ahead is essential. Once you hit the trails, there are day-use and picnic facilities located all along the route, so wherever you choose to stop off, there's a place to rest. However, some of these areas have steps that make them inaccessible for some.

While picnicking might be more complicated, hitting the restroom is not. Public restrooms are conveniently located throughout the area, and these provide step-free access. There is sink clearance, and enough turning space is provided.

Accessibility details:

  • Gentle slopes.
  • No seating areas are available.
  • Paths and trails are fully accessible.
  • Step-free restroom access.
  • Two designated accessible parking spaces.
  • Over 60 in turning space in the restroom.
  • Service dogs are allowed.

Surrounded by natural beauty, the town of Coos Bay is a great place to use as your base for exploring the Oregon Coast. There are plenty of adventures to be found in the region. So, whether you want to hike, have a picnic, swim in the sea, or simply enjoy the sand dunes, there's an adventure waiting just for you. To find out more about what to do and see in Coos Bay, simply check out our travel resources here.

Discover a world of natural adventures as you explore the National and State Parks in Coos Bay here.

Visit the Most Scenic National Parks near Coos Bay

Find more things to do in Coos Bay here!