A few miles down the highway from Reedsport is Winchester Bay, a small fishing village near the mouth of the Umpqua River. It is home to ocean and river commercial fishermen, recreational fishing charters, and Oregon's tallest dunes.
Salmon Harbor, on the waterfront in Winchester Bay, is operated jointly by Douglas County and the Port of Umpqua. The marina has room for 900 boats and is home to several fishing charters. The harbor is surrounded by shops, cafes, art galleries, and lodging. The county and port also operate the Winchester Bay RV Resort, with 143 RV sites.
The Umpqua River Lighthouse and Museum is also located nearby. At more than 100 years old, this lighthouse is one of the few still in operation on the Oregon Coast. The Umpqua Lighthouse State Park offers campsites and yurts near Lake Marie.
Visitors to Winchester Bay will also experience the tallest dunes in Oregon, which are located within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
Thousands of off-road vehicle/ATV enthusiasts from all over the country visit the dunes each year for the Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce DuneFest event in August. Other events include Ocean Fest during July; the Old Time Fiddlers Contest, also in August; and Art By the Bay festival during Labor Day weekend.
Umpqua Lighthouse Loop For a scenic drive in Winchester Bay, travel the road that follows the shoreline on the south side of Salmon Harbor. Across the road from the harbor at mile 0.3 is Windy Cove Park, operated by Douglas County. Public restrooms are located at mile 0.9. At mile 1.l, turn uphill on Umpqua Lighthouse Road. At mile 1.6 the Coastal Visitors Center contains historical exhibits and visitor information. Another 100 yards south is the Umpqua Lighthouse, which is still operational. Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department offers tours May through September, 271-4631.
Across the road from the lighthouse is the Umpqua River Whale Watching Station, a prime spot for observing whales passing by during spring and winter migrations.
At mile 1.9, Umpqua Lighthouse State Park offers day-use facilities, 44 campsites (20 full hookups), eight yurts (including six deluxe yurts), and two cabins. The campground is on the reservation system. The loop rejoins Hwy 101 at milepost 217.