We love hiking trails that engage the imagination for our kids, and the Hobbit Trail is just that. It’s a fairly short trek with a small amount of climb that took us through twisted, moss covered trees and hobbit hollows, as drops of fairy sunlight sparkled along the way. Olivia found little spots where she would have loved to have built forts and played with her dollies, and Ilias found the perfect climbing tree. Keep an eye out at the end of the trail for one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen (I won’t ruin it for you, after you hike it just let me know what you think in the comments)!
The beach is magnificent with beautiful white sand and when we looked to the left from the trailhead we could see cliffs blanketed in bright green that were reminiscent of Hawaii. We took our time walking to the tide pools so we could look at the different plant life living on the cliffside and enjoy the shimmering waters running off.
The tide pools were filled with anemones and sea snails, and we even found a starfish. The fog started rolling in while we were there just adding to the enchantment of this beach. We decided to just sit and watch the tide for a bit and let Olivia dig in the sand; one of her favorite things to do anywhere there is sand or dirt.
If you are looking to hike the Hobbit Trail there are two places to park from highway 101. You can park at the Heceta Head Lighthouse where there is lots of parking and a five dollar day use fee, or there is a very small parking area that fits about 10 to 15 cars right at the actual Hobbit Trail trailhead. From the Heceta Head Lighthouse the hike is about 4 miles round trip, while parking at the trailhead you only hike one mile round trip! When we were driving north from Bandon we were planning on stopping to hike from the trailhead but we had our utility trailer with us but there was no place for trailers to park so we decided to make a day trip to it from Newport. It was an hour drive and we got there around 930am and we got the last parking spot so plan to get there fairly early if you want to be guaranteed a place to park.
If you can’t get a spot at the trailhead the Heceta Head Lighthouse is definitely worth a trip. The lighthouse viewpoint is gorgeous in itself with a pretty beach for the kids to play. Right now you can’t tour the lighthouse, but pre-Covid you could enjoy a short, ranger-guided tour through it. Aslo on site is a bed and breakfast that you can stay in that used to be the lightkeeper’s house; built in 1893. While day use parking is $5, if you are camping at Oregon State Parks, your camping pass is good for free day use at any state run park or point of interest.
The Oregon coast has so many cool spots to explore along the way as we drive the 101 and we intend on visiting each and every viewpoint, state park, beach and wayside along the way. See more photos from this hike HERE!