Mile 189 Report

November 23, 2015
by minustide

Gwynn Cr, Neptune SP / North access, Cummins Cr
Monday 11:15 AM
Calm/Light from the W
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
Cars/Trucks parking:
Activity Comments:
I hiked along the limited backshore south from the north neptune parking lot and around 11:45 am two gentlemen started down to the beach, down the stairs from the Cummins Creek picnic area, but thinking better of it, they quickly retreated. I hiked south 'til I hit a chasm, somewhat impassable at this tide level, which was falling from 9.5' earlier in the morning. This was close to the south end of the mile so I turned around here. I almost immediately saw two older gents and a dog, which kind of surprised me because the terrain is fairly rough in that southern 1/3. I never did discern what they were doing, perhaps looking for agates? The only human stuff I saw in the southern 1/3 was some wrecked commercial crab gear washed up in the rocks. I didn't see any other people until a family of three ventured out onto the reef on the south side of Gwynn Creek at about 2:30 pm. They didn't last long out there. About 3 pm, as I was leaving, two vehicles arrived at the north parking lot - a family of two with a dog (they climbed the hill overlooking Gwynn Creek), and a party of two (they took the trail down to the beach). That's all the humans I saw.
Notable Wildlife:
In the rocks and pools on the southern 1/3, south of Cummins Creek: lots of Anthopleura elegantissima, A. xanthogrammica, a few A. artemesia. Nice lush growth of Pelvetiopsis (see photo). Cummins Creek: lots of gulls, loafing and drinking. North, off the reef on the south bank of Gwynn Creek, near the north parking lot: 2 harbor seals, 5 surfbirds on the reef, the tide pools were looking kind of poor, but plenty of large A. xanthogrammica, hermit crabs and other typical stuff. There were a few large Pisaster and not too much Lepas anatifera overgrowth, but it was noticeable in places.
Dead Birds:
Beach was noticeably free of carrion
Beach was noticeably free of carrion
Fish & Invertebrates:
Not unusual, but sand levels have been on the decline for a while now, exposing dead acorn barnacles that have not survived months of burial. On the rocks this looks like a white band about two - three feet wide extending. up from the sand (see photo). Drift Line full of cellophane tube worm casings, probably Spiochaetopterus costarum (see photo), but this may be a molt phenomenon, rather than a mortality event.
Kelp or Algae·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Plastic pellets·Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.)
The drift line was dominated by Sitka spruce needles and cellophane tube worm casings, probably Spiochaetopterus costarum.
New Development:
Steps down bluff
Nothing really new, just the usual signs of erosion at the base, at both the north parking lot and Cummins creek picnic area.
Natural Changes:
Nothing new, just the usual erosion of sandy bluffs, most evident in the southern 1/3, but also noticeable south of Gwynn Creek, near the north parking lot.

I hung around from about 11:15 am to 3:00 pm, hiking from the parking lot south as far as I could go, given the tide, which was nearly to the southern end of the mile, then back north onto the reef on the south bank of Gwynn Creek. I had hoped to cross Gwynn Creek and hike Cook's reef to the northern end of the mile, but even with only two hours 'til low tide, crossing Gywnn Creek would have been harrowing so I decided to view the northern 1/3 from the reef on the south bank of Gwynn Creek. All in all, a nice quiet day on mile 189. I've included photos illustrating declining sand levels, cellophane tube worm casings on the north end, and Pelvetiopsis on the rocks on the southern 1/3 of the mile.

  • Falling sand levels expose a layer of dead acorn barnacles
    Southern 1/3 mile 189
    November 23, 2015
  • Drift line dominated by Sitka spruce needles and cellophane tubeworm casings
    mid mile 189
    November 23, 2015
  • Lush growth of Pelvetiopsis tops rocks in the high intertidal
    Southern 1/3 mile 189
    November 23, 2015
Other Mile 189 Reports (21)


June 14, 2021 - gailrobbw
Graffiti covered up.  Steps to beach repaired.  Beach access to North Neptune rerouted around hazard tree.  A fire ring near entrance to North Neptune Beach.  Beach very clean other than a pallet,...
February 9, 2021 - gailrobbw
  • North Neptune Beach
  • North Neptune Beach
  • North Neptune Beach
  • North Neptune Beach
  • North Neptune Beach
  • North Neptune Beach
  • South Neptune Beach
  • South Neptune Beach
  • Cummins Creek


July 29, 2020 - gailrobbw
Very busy with people and dogs, but beach still clean and no major problems.
  • Stairs in midden
March 16, 2020 - gailrobbw
Someone/organization has painted over the grafitti that had been sprayed all over the retaining wall under the freeway at the Gwynn Creek culvert (just north of the north Neptune Beach parking lot...


November 7, 2019 - gailrobbw
The beach looked very clean today, save for one loose buoy floating in the surf of North Neptune parking area, and one buoy with ropes tangled around log on shore in that same general area.  Unable...
August 19, 2019 - gailrobbw
In general area free of significant litter, but much new graffiti spray painted at the outlet of Gwynn Creek just north of the North Neptune parking lot.  Also a large graffiti painted inside the...
  • Dead bird
  • Graffiti
  • Graffiti initials
  • Graffiti
  • Driftwood Shelters
  • Dead bird
  • Hazardous tree
  • Cliff graffiti
  • Boulder fall
  • Graffiti and fire ring
  • Rock dam
  • Dead bird
  • Dead bird
May 20, 2019 - Volunteer Trainer
Report submitted for new volunteers GailRobbw.  no dead animals 12 people on the beach evidence of someone climbing on the cliffs- carvings  overnight camper in the parking lot,
  • map showing observations


July 14, 2018 - [email protected]
I covered the middle and southern portions of the of the mile, starting about 6:15 am. The morning tide was quite low, -2.0', but the surf was 7'-9' so beach access was out of the question along the...
  • A nearly transparent baby flatfish
  • A drift clump, holdfast and all, on the rocks
  • Drippy tracks in morning sand
July 13, 2018 - [email protected]
I covered the northern portion of the mile, departing the north parking lot at Gwynn Creek at 6 am. Except for a small bit of beach access just south of Gwynn Creek this portion is up on Captain Cook...
  • Pinkish pre-sunrise over exposed sand and rocks
  • Intimate view in a vertical crevice


September 10, 2017 - [email protected]
I was on the beach between 7:25 ad 9:45 am Low tide was about 1.1' at 9:30 am. As for humans, I saw 7 people overall, 2 groups of 2, and one group of 3. Two dogs. The only activity I observed were...
  • Jelly fragment and other stuff in the drift line


September 24, 2016 - minustide
The SOLVE Beach cleaner-uppers were new for me. Sept 24 is the big SOLVE beach clean up in Oregon. There were perhaps a few more people than I am used to. This could be owing to the spectacular...


October 10, 2014 - minustide
Between 6:30 and 11:30 am saw 4 people beside myself; two were solo birder at Cummins Cr. early and the other two, a couple on the north beach an rocks to the north about 11:30. The Driftline was...
  • I'm thinking these are invertebrate casings but I'm not sure. Would love to know what they are. For scale, they are about an inch long.
August 17, 2014 - Soggybottom
It was a busy morning on the beach for Neptune State Park. Families were wading in a very low Cummins Creek and playing in the sand in spite of a very strong wind. The beach was very clean...


March 17, 2013 - Soggybottom
The beach was very clean. Minimal amount of styrofoam and plastic. No SOLV bags on site for tsuanami debri.


August 12, 2012 - Soggybottom
I was able to walk the entire beach from one end to the other because the tide was out. It was a beautiful day. There were about 15 people, mostly families including children, and 3 dogs enjoying...
April 8, 2012 - Soggybottom
Mile 189 has not had active reporting done since 2009. This was our first visit and it was high tide. The beach was mostly covered with river rock and driftwood with very little sand. There were no...


May 25, 2009 - naturegates
The number of people at this site at one time is fairly small (I include both the north and south areas of Neptune State Park) and only occasionally have I observed dogs on the beaches and never a...


May 20, 2008 - naturegates
Sand level on Neptune Beach (south and north) is going down. Three bald eagles spotted feeding on bird carcass.


July 9, 2007 - naturegates
This is generally a well used beach with very little litter or man-made disturbance. The sand is high this year and Cummins Creek has drifted against the south shore.
March 21, 2007 - naturegates
Neptune has very little impact from humans or dogs other than dune climbing on South Neptune. Very nice beach to visit.


December 13, 2006 - naturegates
Beach clean, some erosion of dune, south. People continue to slide down the dunes.