Free family events at Cape Perpetua

Free family events at Cape Perpetua this summer include a stroll on the Captain Cook’s Trail to explore the rocky shoreline and marine reserve. (News-Times file photo)

Summer is underway at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. Join field rangers and local experts for a variety of free family events at Cape Perpetua. In addition to the camping, hiking, tide pooling and picnicking always available, visitors can choose from any of the activities below to experience these special places in new ways.

  • Saturdays, July 6 and Aug. 3: Trees to Sea — 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the visitor center. Learn about the interconnectedness of the forest and ocean ecosystems through a variety of hands-on stations, presentations and hikes. Additionally, at the July 6 event, the Gwynn Creek-Cummins Creek Trails will be recognized as part of the Old Growth Forest Network for their protected status.  
  • July 22-23 and July 29-30: Marbled Murrelet Survey — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the visitor center. Contribute to research aimed at saving this threatened seabird. Join scientists and land managers to learn about murrelet nesting and feeding habits, then help identify and count birds as they fly between the forest and ocean. No experience necessary; RSVP:
  • Friday, Aug. 9: Smokey Bear's 75th Birthday Party — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the visitor center. Join in a celebration of Smokey's 75 years of preventing wildfires. Enjoy birthday cake, learn about fire ecology on the Siuslaw, and tell happy birthday to Smokey himself!


Ongoing events

  • Mondays through Sept. 2: Walk with a Ranger — noon, meet at the visitor center. Join retired Chief Park Ranger Michael Noack for an easy-to-moderate hike, where he will be sharing information about the local flora and fauna. Hikes will last 75-90 minutes.
  • Wednesdays through Aug. 28: Under the Sea — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the visitor center. Oregon doesn't stop at the beach. Take a deeper dive into the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve by joining Tara DuBois, communications coordinator for the Cape Perpetua Collaborative, for interactive exhibits at the visitor center. At 3 p.m., she will lead a stroll on the Captain Cook's Trail to explore the rocky shoreline and marine reserve.
  • Thursdays, through Aug. 28: Lunch with Dr. Jim Nechols — noon at the visitor center. Dr. Jim Nechols, retired professor of entomology from Kansas State University, will present “Alien Invaders: Invasive Plants of Siuslaw National Forest” and “Self Defense 101 for Insects: Insect Defense Mechanisms./”
  • Saturdays, July 6 through Aug. 31: Ranger F.E.D Talks — noon at the visitor center. Join Siuslaw National Forest field rangers for a fun and informative "Forest, Explore, Discover" Siuslaw National Forest presentation.
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays through Sept. 5: Walk with a Ranger — noon, meet at visitor center. Explore a variety of natural history topics on The Giant Spruce Trail, Discovery Loop, or Captain Cook Trail on a guided hike lead by Siuslaw National Forest field rangers.

These events are free, but a Northwest Forest Pass, Oregon Coast Passport, federal recreation pass or $5 day-use fee is required within the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and at some trailheads and day-use sites.

For more information on these events, contact the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center at 541-547-3289. To learn more about family-friendly activities on the forest, visit


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