New River came into existance following the flood of 1890. The story is that following the flood someone noticed that the flow from Floras Lake to the ocean had created a new channel heading north fromt he lake for about 9 miles. Upon seeing it, he said “hey, a new river” and thus New River came into being. How true is this story…we don’t know but it is interesting.
The New River Area of Critical Environmental Concern, as is indicated by it’s name, places a focus on wildlife protection. It is a nesting area for Snowy Plover and an important stop over for Aleutian Canada Geese. In order to protect these birds, the last section of road and the foredune are closed to access part of the year.
The trail at New River begins as a closed section of road. A foot path branches off to the right and heads to a small pond and abandoned cranberry bog. The trail then lead back to rejoin the road. This makes it possible to do a loop hike (using the road) or an out and back.
This hike is easy and has no real elevation gain. The total length of the trail is about 2 miles. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash.
The drive to New River is pretty strait forward. From Bandon, drive South on highway 101 for about 9 miles. Turn right onto Croft Lake Rd and proceed for about 2.5 miles. The road dead ends at the environmental center parking lot and restrooms.