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soapstone lake The Source for Soapstone Creek

Soapstone Lake is a spring water lake about three miles east of Soapstone. It is a tranquil spot easily reached on foot from a well-marked trailhead. The hike up to the lake is a forty-minute walk through forest and meadow, crossing a few streams. There is a trail that goes all the way around the lake, which is about a thirty-five minute walk.

How to get there:

Soapstone Lake can be easily reached from Highway 53. (There is a turnoff for Highway 53 on Highway 26 about 13 miles east of the Cannon Beach turnoff, or it can be reached from Highway 101 at Wheeler.) The lake and trail are on Clatsop County Forest Land and open to the public.

Just to the north of the 5-mile marker on Highway 53 you will see a gravel road on the east side of the road. It's on your right if you are coming from 101 and on your left if you are coming from 26. (It should be sign-posted but sometimes the sign is down.)

Take that gravel road, cross a wooden bridge, and park where the road widens into a parking area on your left. You will see a trail marker and an established trail going uphill on your left. The road goes on, but there is room to park there at the trailhead. It takes about 40 minutes to walk up to the lake (including getting across a stream where there is, as yet, no bridge). There is a trail that goes all the way around the lake that takes about 35 to 40 minutes walking leisurely.


"As I sat up in Wind, the world re-framed by round windows, working on a second draft of a play about my grandparents in China, Chinese opera’s dictum that movement should be “round and effortless” became a mantra for me. As the creek turned from limpid clear water to torrent of mud to seagreen slush and back to clarity again, I thought about the drama of being 'swept away' in a current of passion—or ideas—or water. Other than fuel the Duchess, there was nothing that I 'had' to do, so no escape from writing—except observing how the birds flock together and twitter amongst themselves, how the deer keep to the edge of the meadow in the evenings, how the rain came in sheets and hail bounced on the roof, and how ready I was to run out and walk in the sunshine. And there was certainly wisdom in walking; many good thoughts came on hikes."

—Kathleen Worley