Take a Drive on the Cranberry Coast – A Guided Tour

Bottle Beach

The Northern Pacific Railroad originally planned for the area around Bottle Beach to be their main terminus. When plans changed development in the area halted. Photo credit: Dani Dooley

Take a Drive on the Cranberry Coast – A Guided Tour

Tucked between Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay is a little-known stretch of coastal road called the Cranberry Coast Scenic Byway. The shoulders of this road are home to historical sites, breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife making for a relaxing and fun adventure.

The Cranberry Coast Scenic Byway, also known as Highway 105, is a loop off Highway 101 that, starting in Raymond, follows the Willapa River and Willapa Bay out to a hidden 20 mile stretch of Pacific coastline before looping back to 101 in Aberdeen.

Smith Creek Tokeland

On the far side of the Smith Creek property there is a boat ramp that is popular with kayakers. From Raymond cross the Smith Creek bridge and turn right to get to the boat ramp. Photo credit: Dani Dooley

From Raymond, follow the north bank of the Willapa River as you take highway 105 out of the city. To the left are agricultural marshlands and a network of sloughs home to many migrating birds. On the right, just past mile post 10, you will pass the Smith Creek State Wildlife Recreation Area. This too is home to many varieties of birds and a great spot for bird enthusiasts to pull out the binoculars.

Another ten minutes of driving in and out of the estuary and forested hills and you will come into the Shoalwater Reservation. Pay close attention to the speed limit signs here. The newly remodeled Shoalwater Bay Casino will be on your right and a gas station to the left. If you’re interested in a jaunt down a side road, turn left on Tokeland Road. This will turn into Kindred Avenue and within a couple blocks you’ll see Historic Tokeland Hotel to your left. The hotel was built in 1885 and is the oldest resort hotel in the United States. It is still in use as both a hotel and restaurant. Each July the hotel hosts the popular Tokeland Wood and Arts festival.  Read more here:  http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2017/08/03/take-a-drive-on-the-cranberry-coast-a-guided-tour/

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