Bring your binoculars and your camera: Beaver Creek State Natural Area is a place to see nature up close. Whether you hike through upland forest or paddle through the lush marsh, signs of life abound. Just minutes from Highway 101, the marsh supports river otter, beaver and migratory and resident birds. The marsh also serves as critical habitat for Coho salmon, cutthroat trout and winter steelhead. Roosevelt elk, deer, coyote and the occasional black bear and cougar are at home in the grassy meadows and forests that surround the marsh.
The mouth of Beaver Creek opens to the Pacific Ocean at Ona Beach. The beach and marsh are an integral part of the Beaver Creek Watershed that connect old-growth forests, coastal areas and marsh habitats.
One mile east of Ona Beach and Highway 101, a viewing deck overlooks the marsh and creek, with interpretive panels describing the area’s ecology and wildlife. Bird houses and feeders attract various nesting swallows and song birds throughout the year. The deck and surrounding grounds are open year-round.
Launch your kayak, canoe or small boat from North Beaver Creek Road. Great for beginners and kids, the three-mile, flat water paddle meanders through the marshes and wetlands of the Beaver Creek estuary. Keep an eye out for beaver, river otter, deer and a wide-range of migratory and residential bird species.
The wide, paved boat ramp slopes gently to the water, which makes for a safe and accessible launch. An accessible vault toilet is large enough to accommodate just about any manual chair.
Enjoy 5 miles of easy-to-moderate looping trails through forest and meadow, with ocean views at the top. Visitors can park along South Beaver Creek Road year-round. During dry weather, park at Beaver Creek Road at the parking area just past the Welcome Center and take the seasonal Beaver Marsh Trail that meanders through the wetlands, then connects with the upland trails. A primitive boat launch can be found along the wide, accessible boardwalk at the beginning of the trail. For details, see our trail map.
Beaver Creek was purchased from private owners in pieces over time, from 2007-2009. The properties were acquired with approximately $1.3 million Lottery dollars and $400,000 of federal funds through a USFWS Coastal Wetland grant. This acquisition is considered a key part of the multi-partner Beaver Creek watershed ecosystem management strategy, connecting old growth forests in the upper watershed with beach, coastal dunes, estuary, and marsh habitats downstream. The house on the property was remodeled and turned into a Visitor Center. The park opened in September 2010.