The Cape Mountain Trails, also known as the Coast Horse Trails, are located just north of Florence, Oregon. Seventeen miles of interconnected trails explore the beautiful coastal forest that blankets Cape Mountain, and several vantage points offer views of the ocean below you.
Distance: 17 miles of trails
Elevation: 500 to 1,500 feet
The Cape Mountain Trails explore the side of their namesake mountain, traveling along the crests of high ridges, following switchbacks up and down the mountain slopes, traversing old clear-cut areas, and meandering through lovely old-growth forest. Multiple loops are possible, and mountain bikes are not permitted on the Cape Mountain Trails.
The trail junctions have signs with maps of the trail system, so it’s easy to find your way on these trails.
You’ll have nice views of the ocean from the summit of Cape Mountain and several other vantage points. You’ll even see a reconstructed 1915-era Indian hunting dwelling -- complete with an interpretive sign -- beside of the trail.
Cape Mountain has two horse camps that both have easy access to the trails. Horse Creek Campground has 11 sites with corrals, fire rings, picnic tables, and a toilet. A spring-fed trough provides stock water a short distance from the camp. Dry Lake Horse Camp has two sites with log corrals, picnic tables, fire rings, and a toilet, but no water.
To reach Horse Creek Campground, drive north on Hwy. 101 for 10.5 miles. Turn right on Horse Creek Road (Road 58) and continue 4.7 miles to the campground.
To reach Dry Lake Horse Camp, drive north on Hwy. 101 for 5 miles. Turn right on Herman Cape Road and follow it 2.5 miles to the trailhead.
You’ll find more information about the Cape Mountain Trails and Horse Creek and Dry Lake Horse Camps in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2017), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.