McVAY ROCK RECREATION SITE
We get so much pleasure from discovering hidden treasures, it is an easy prediction that McVay Rock State Recreation Site will delight you and be one of the best memories of your visit to Brookings.
A Hidden Treasure
McVay is a well-hidden park offering surf fishing, clamming, kelp gathering, whale watching and plenty of space to walk on the beach. There is no fee to use the park. This recreation site boasts a large lawn area great for blanket picnics. If you did not bring food, it’s just as great for lying on the blanket. The park is elevated about fifty feet above the surf. Walking, standing or sitting on the edge gives you a fine spectator’s view of the ocean and surf performing a raucous, energetic dance where no step is ever repeated. You will often have eye-to-eye encounters with a gull or pelican catching the updrafts from the beach. The site is a mostly undeveloped beach access area. The gravel parking area is near walking trails leading down to the beach.
Nature’s Passing Parade
The Pacific Ocean spreads out 180 degrees in front of you, providing an unequal vista for the whale watching that has become an increasingly popular activity for both residents and visitors to Brookings. Each year gray whales pass Curry County while migrating between the warm waters of Baja California and the frigid seas off Alaska. In Brookings there are two major seasons for viewing whales. One runs from as early as October through mid-January when the grays are migrating south to give birth. The other comes from mid-January to as late as April when the whales journey back to the Bering Sea and gorge themselves on shrimp and krill. Because gray whales travel close to the shore, a highland like McVay Recreation Site is a great place to spot them with eyes or binoculars. Observing these lovely, graceful creatures will leave you with the oddly distinct sensation that human beings share the earth with at least one other intelligent species. Overnight camping is not permitted, but try to catch a sunset and the first appearance of some brighter stars and planets. That sight will leave you with the oddly distinct sensation that human beings probably share the universe with a whole lot of intelligent species.
Hidden it may be, but difficult to get to, McVay Recreation Site is not. Drive south out of Brookings on US 101 and go right on Pedrioli, the first road south of the last traffic light in Brookings. The last traffic light before the Oregon/California border, as a matter-of-fact. Follow Pedrioli to Oceanview Drive and turn left one and a half miles to McVay Recreation Site.