North Bend Boardwalk is an array of contrasts. A patterned cement walkway lined with manicured planters containing drought-tolerant plant choices makes it obvious this boardwalk was planned in the 21st century. Yet nearby, timber is hoisted onto ships by huge cranes swinging palettes of 20 plus logs per load, rolling you back to a time when the lumber industry was in full swing. Vessels dock from international ports across the Pacific (the Orient Becrux from Singapore on the day my husband and I visited), yet the local community of less than 10,000 has a small coastal town feel. Through new metal railings and thin cabling, you peer at disintegrating wooden docks from days past. Modern, historical, sleek, rustic, quiet, industrious, functional, scenic, all these terms describe this pleasant bayside promenade.
My husband and I grabbed some to-go food from a Thai restaurant in downtown Coos Bay, strolled under the metal archway entrance on the south end of the North Bend Boardwalk, and settled on the first cement bench to lunch by the bay. Dotted with cute, squatty sea ducks and other water birds, the rippling blue water was a wonderful backdrop to our meal. Once satiated we further explored the area.
The step count above reaches the first cement seat. Seventy-five more and you’ll arrive at another.
The more active end of the North Bend Boardwalk, the north side includes a Vern C. Gorst commemorative shelter, a boat launch, and – if your timing is right – up-close views of timber loading onto an enormous ship headed to distant ports carrying thousands of tons of cargo.
The distance between seating options is farther from this end, about 150 steps from the shelter to the nearest cement seat.