From the trailhead at North Beach County Park, you’d never know this beach was once the site of a rubbish dump. Only the sharpest eyes will still find the occasional bit of water-polished glass bits among shoreline pebbles and rock, the origin of the site’s local “Glass Beach” moniker. As you approach McCurdy Point, you’ll start to see scattered evidence of history in the form of old tires and related detritus.
Many eagles make their community in the trees on the bluff above, so you are sure to sight — and hear — at least a few. Seabirds abound — I saw an oystercatcher, my first such sighting. A herd of seals enjoys gathering near the point; you’ll likely see a few of their cautiously curious faces poking up offshore along the length of the hike. The bluff walls offer geology geeks layers of time and geophysics to ponder.
The hike is popular, but many visitors turn back short of McCurdy point — go the distance and you may enjoy greater solitude as well as small tide pool viewing in lower tides. Hikers may occasionally need to climb over small logs during some tides.
Speaking of tides: It’s essential to respect the tide here. Consult a tide table and plan accordingly to avoid getting trapped at high tide – the sandy bluffs abut private property and offer few to no escape routes. One possibility is to start your journey shortly after peak high tide during a cycle that will give you plenty of time for the approximately 6-mile out-and-back distance.
Portable toilets, picnic tables and a small picnic shelter adjacent to the parking lot at the trailhead; more facilities and opportunities for hiking at adjacent Fort Worden Park.