Although the sign names this beach turn out between Florence and Yachats a wayside, Oregon State Parks calls it Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint. The State Park designation must have changed at some point between its inception in 1939 and the present.
While working on this write up, I asked the natural question: Who was Muriel O. Ponsler? According to a plaque on site, the park is named for a loved one of Jack C. Ponsler, who donated the land to the State Parks in dedication to his wife Muriel after her death. That’s certainly interesting…but I wanted to know more. So much so, I ended up researching her and writing a separate article on the topic: Muriel O. Ponsler: The Woman Behind the Wayside. If you, too, want to know more about her, the article will likely satiate your curiosity (and then some!).
See Beach Roundup: Between Florence and Yachats for a summary of beaches in the area.
View picnic table
A path-side picnic table allows lunching with the sea and shore in view. Slightly elevated above sea level, with no fence to obscure the panorama, this is a fantastic spot to rest after strolling the lengthy stretch of beach. If your goal is a short walk, the table is also a lovely destination on its own.
|Terrain: Gravel path, slight descent. Grass from path to table.|
|Seating: Picnic table|
|Fee: No fee|
|Directions: The marked turn off is on Highway 101 14 miles north of Florence and 11 miles south of Yachats, between Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park and Ocean Beach Picnic Area. The picnic table is visible from the parking lot.|
The beaches of Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint and Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park to the south are really a single expanse of about three miles of sand, separated only by one or more (depending on the time of year and rainfall) creek runoffs to the sea.
The walk to the beach’s edge at Ponsler is shorter than at Washburne, but the end of the path hits a wide swath of stones littered with logs and other tree debris. If you can get yourself past the stones to the open sand, it is a beautiful beach to stroll.
If negotiating the rocks and debris pose too much of a challenge, head down the road to Washburne – you’ll likely see more people, but that’s a small price to pay for safety.
|Terrain: Gravel path, slight descent which gradually gets steeper and deteriorates to dirt drop off into a bed of stones and assorted logs.|
|Seating: No, unless you find suitable beach debris.|
|Fee: No fee|
|Directions: The marked turn off is on Highway 101 14 miles north of Florence and 11 miles south of Yachats, between Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park and Ocean Beach Picnic Area. The path to the beach is visible from the parking lot.|