Battle Rock Park
As you come into Port Orford on U.S. 101, it’s hard to ignore enormous Battle Rock on the shoreline, the site of the 1851 conflict between local Native Americans and the first landing party of white settlers. If you can make your way through the driftwood and blackberry bushes surrounding its base, you can climb the short trail to the top for a heightened perspective on the rockbound coast that parallels the town. You’ll also notice the east-west orientation of the harbor.
Once you get to the top of Battle Rock, don’t think that the battle is necessarily over. Bracing winds often chill you, and high tides can sometimes render this huge coastal extension an island. The rock is also the focus of a Fourth of July Jubilee Celebration, which reenacts the historic battle.
Even if you’re not up for a scramble on Battle Rock, do walk the short path down to the beach, which is relatively sheltered from the wind and a good place for a walk. It’s also a good spot for beachcombing, with agates and fishing floats being the prize finds.
If you’d rather do your scavenging inland, try searching the nearby foothills for the lost Port Orford meteorite. The meteorite was found in the 1860s by a government geologist, who estimated its weight at 22,000 tons. Unfortunately, he was unable to locate the meteorite when he returned for another look.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel