Stepping onto the moss-encrusted brick path leading to the Ferry Landing Overlook in Florence allows reflection of a time more than eight decades ago when traveling the coast required ferries and beach driving (bring along a shovel!), and the rivers were significant boundaries rather than places to view picturesque bridges.
Next to Old Town Park, close yet tucked away from Florence’s main drag, the Florence Ferry Landing Overlook allows easy walking in an enjoyable setting with seated views of the Siuslaw river and the bridge that rendered the ferry crossing obsolete. In May rhodies bloom along this path and delicate pink petals drop from sheltering trees to decorate the walkway, contributing to the nostalgia of the place.
The sign at the Florence Ferry Landing Overlook succinctly describes the landing’s history, so here is an excerpt.
This newsletter from the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum covers the birth and death of the town of Glenada on the south side of the Siuslaw, the connecting point of the ferry route.
From the Ferry Landing Overlook viewing deck and nearby benches are views of the Siuslaw River Bridge (a McCullough design) to the west, the homes of Glenada (now a neighborhood rather than a town) across the water, and Port of Siuslaw docks to the east. Informative signs explain the birds of the area and the history of the ferry landing, providing background and depth to this charming destination.
In front of the deck platform, the remaining pylons from the old ferry landing poke through the rippling water. Trees sprout from a decrepit old dock, which also houses birds in numbered nest boxes. Water birds dart for fish and flit overhead, and on occasion one might glimpse a river otter playing in the water or padding through the reeds.
A picnic can be enjoyed at the table in the lawn of nearby Old Town Park, and the gazebo seems an idyllic wedding venue.