You pass William P. Keady State Wayside on your left as you enter Waldport from the south. A pair of long distance viewers stands in a gazebo next to a weathered sign that depicts the birds that can be seen in Alsea Bay. Bay dwellers include the majestic Osprey, the august Bald Eagle, the funky Surf Scoter, and those cute little fellows with the large fuzzy heads, the Belted Kingfisher, among others.
Picnic tables line the parking lot and can be used in a pinch for a snack. Yet in spite of the lovely view, this spot is not top pick for a meal. Ocean acoustics are accompanied by road noise from the nearby highway and a ripe, briny odor hangs in the air at low tide; neither partner well with food.
What I found most interesting had nothing to do with the wayside itself, but of Waldport in general. In the corner on the faded and cracked entrance sign hung under decorative crabs, I found this blurb:
Based on the Seashore Family Literacy website, the green bikes program began in 2006 and is still in effect in Waldport for both residents and visitors. I’ve read of large cities in recent years trying to make a go of bike-share programs, so I was impressed to learn that the little Oregon coast community of Waldport has successfully pulled off this endeavor for just shy of a decade.
The prominent structure at William P. Keady State Wayside is a gazebo with a circle of cement seating, but unless it’s raining, the place to sit is on one of the benches to the south. Next to a lawn and along a walkway, the benches overlook Alsea Bay as it blends with the ocean. The picturesque Alsea Bay Bridge stands in sight to the north.
If stairs are not a hindrance for you, it’s a short jaunt to the water’s edge on the bay beach at William P. Keady State Wayside. This beach is completely submerged at times creating optimal clamming conditions at low tide. For those seeking a walk, you may end up in very sludgy sand. With the right timing, though, you can stroll along the bay’s edge toward the Alsea Bay Bridge. Hug the rock retaining wall for the driest sand and watch for sand color changes to avoid surprise foot sinkage.