Cape Mountain is a series of ten trails North of Florence near Cape Perpetua that’s also known as the Coast Horse Trail System. The two main trailheads are Dry Lake and Horse Creek. The 17 miles of trails overlook the Pacific Ocean, and provide magnificent views, crossing both temperate rainforests as well as expansive coastal meadows.
Cape Mountain Trails
- Nelson Ridge Trail: 3.5 miles
- Berry Lane Trail: 1.1 miles
- Lookout Loop Trail: 1.2 miles
- Cape Mountain Trail: 0.6 mile
- Princess Tasha Trail: 0.3 mile
- Scurvy Ridge Trail: 3.5 miles
- Horseshoe Lane Trail: 1.2 miles
- Blue Horizon Trail: 0.9 miles
- Berry Creek Trail: 2.2 miles
- Wapati Trail: 1.9 miles
The trail junctions have signs with maps of the trail system, so it’s easy to find your way on these trails. The summit of Cape Mountain has views of the ocean, but there are several other viewpoints along the way.
For a 15 mile run using most of the trails, start at Dry Lake trailhead. Take the Nelson Ridge Trail for a 3.5-mile descent to the Berry Creek Trail junction. Head left down the creek and start a steady climb for 2 miles and turn left at Scurvy Ridge Trail near the Horse Creek trailhead. Continue on Scurvy Ridge to the mile loop of the Blue Horizon Trail for nice views. Head back on Scurvy Ridge for a half-mile climb. There is the option of going left on an old forest road that is Horshoe Lane Trail, which ends back at Horse Creek and Scurvy Ridge or proceed back on Scurvy Ridge. Either way, follow Scurvy Ridge until the Princess Tasha Trail.
Follow Princess Tasha Trail to the Lookout Loop Trail and Cape Mountain Trail junction. Turn left on Cape Mountain to summit the peak in about a half-mile. Come down off the mountain and follow the trail back to Nelson Ridge to run on a short section of the trail again to the Berry Lane Trail. Turn right on Berry Lane Trail for a short jaunt to the Wapati Trail. Follow the Wapati Trail, which joins the Lookout Loop Trail. Head left on Lookout Loop back to the Princess Tasha Trail and Cape Mountain Trail junction. Turn right on Princess Tasha back to the Dry Lake parking lot.
Of course, shorter runs can be done by looping sections of these trails, including the Lookout Loop trail. To extend the run, Forest Road 789 to the Baker Beach trailhead and run around the trails on the beach.