On Veterans day we celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary by visiting our 34th Oregon wilderness area – the Cummins Creek Wilderness. The 9,173 acre wilderness is located along the Oregon Coast between Florence and Waldport. The Cummins Creek Wilderness is home to the only old-growth Sitka Spruce forest in the state. For our visit we chose the only designated trail in the wilderness, the Cummins Ridge Trail.
There are trailheads at either end of the nearly 6 mile long Cummins Ridge Trail which opens up the option of a car shuttle if one only wanted to hike the trail one way. For a shuttle hike starting at the upper (east) trailhead located along Forest Road 5694 would make the most sense as the majority of the hike would be downhill. Our plan was to do an out and back so we started from the lower (west) trailhead located approximately 2.5 miles from Highway 101 on Forest Road 1051.
The trail almost immediately enters the wilderness area.
It was raining steadily as we set off which we hadn’t really expected based on the forecast but as the day progressed the rain lessened and eventually quit. The lower portion of the trial followed an old road bed which at times was obvious but at others the vegetation had nearly hidden it.
After about 3 miles on the old road bed the trail forked to the right leaving the road and leading us into a foggy forest.
The trail was in good shape with just a couple of short overgrown sections and never very steep as it followed the ridge up and down to the upper trailhead.
We returned the way we’d come for an 11.9 mile hike with approximately 1200′ of elevation gain. The forest along the ridge limit any real views that might otherwise be available from the trail.
We did manage a couple of brief glimpses of the Pacific Ocean through the trees.
With no viewpoints and no water features along the trail it is strictly a hike for those who are looking for a nice forest stroll. Not all hikes need to lead to an amazing view or some Instagram destination to be enjoyable. We enjoyed the moss covered trees, various mushrooms, and some bird sightings on our visit.
This was a great cloudy/rainy day hike and leaves us with just 11 of the 45 visit-able Oregon Wilderness areas left to go. Happy Trails!
Flickr: Cummins Ridge Trail