Sitka Sedge State Natural Area is all about the views: you’ll see tidal flats, saltwater marshes, forested wetlands, abundant marsh wildlife and beach views stretching from Haystack Rock to the south and Cape Lookout to the north.
The park's name comes from a beautiful native grass-like plant found in pockets throughout the property. Sitka Sedge (Carex aquatilis v. dives) reflects several of the unique characteristics of this new park. Graceful. Ecologically important. Natural.
Visitors can hike the 3.5 miles of looping trails, including the 1/2-mile-long Beltz Dike Trail that leads from the parking area west through Sand Lake Estuary and coniferous forested dunes to the beach. Note: no cell phone service is available within the park.
Taking plants, animals, or cultural resources from the park is not allowed. Please see the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations for clamming and fishing information.
Sitka Sedge is in the traditional territory of the Nestucca group of Tillamook Indians, an area that was originally included within the Siletz Reservation boundaries from 1855-75. The Nestucca Tillamooks are now part of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. In addition, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde claim cultural affiliation to the area.
In 2014, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department purchased the Beltz property for $1.8 million from Ecotrust. The department used Oregon Lottery funds dedicated to state park acquisitions, as well as a National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant from the U.S. Forest Service. The park is classified as a state natural area, which is a designation for protecting outstanding, or important portions of Oregon's ecosystems for continued public education, and/or for contributing to larger ecosystem health.
Sitka Sedge State Natural Area includes approximately 357 acres. Approximately 244 acres are west of Sandlake Road, fronting the ocean and the Sand Lake Estuary. This portion of the property consists of approximately 87 acres of marsh (including approximately 42 acres of tidal marsh, sand and mudflats and approximately 12 acres of estuary altered by Beltz Dike) and 157 acres of dunes and uplands. An un-maintained, half-mile long, artificial dike runs east/west through the northern third of the property. The remaining 113 acres of the property east of Sandlake Road is predominately pasture and forest land. Three creeks, Reneke, Beltz, and an unnamed stream, flow into the southern portion of the property. This area is part of the Sand Lake watershed.