Oswald West State Park - Best Oregon Coast Hikes
Our guests at our oceanfront Manzanita Vacation Rentals typically enjoy getting out and seeing all the wonders of the north Oregon Coast.
One of the best places to visit on the Oregon Coast is Oswald West State Park
Why? The answer is easy! Follow along and we'll tell you why.
Oswald West State Park is the perfect example of the incredible north Oregon Coast beauty.
And as a State Park, this beauty is available to all!
Only 10 miles south of Cannon Beach and only 2.3 miles north of Manzanita Beach, Oswald West State park consists of 2,448 acres of majestic forests and rugged beaches. The park was named in honour of Oswald West, the 14th Governor of Oregon and the man who took the lead in Oregon beach preservation for the public.
To start your visit, you'll find parking in one of four parking lots along Hwy 101.
The shores of Oswald West State Park were designated as the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve on January 1, 2016 preserving the shoreline and approximately two miles out into the Pacific.
Within the park designation you'll find Neahkahnie Mountain, Short Sands Beach, Short Sand Creek, Cape Falcon, Smugglers Cove, Necarney Creek, and the famous Oregon Coast Trail.
Here you'll find hiking and surfing for all abilities at Short Sand Beach, and lots of beach combing, and one of the best preserved coastal rainforests in Oregon.
Manzanita Beach Life Insider Tip: Keep your eye out for the infamous pirate treasure purported to be buried near Smugglers Cove, but not yet found ... that we know of!
Oswald West State Park is a fabulous hiking destination for all.
Among the Oswald West State Park trails you're sure to find your best Oregon Coast hike. Check here for an Oswald West State Park trail map.
The most popular Oswald West State Park hike is Short Sand Beach. It follows an easy trail through old growth forest — including ancient cedars throughout this temperate rainforest — to one of the Oregon Coasts more well know beaches. Starting at the trailhead off Hwy 101, the hike is only one mile, round trip.
The trail winds around Short Sand Creek, crosses a picturesque bridge, and follows a path down to the beach. You’ll find lots of side trails that could make for a longer hike, including Old Growth Forest and Sitka Spruce trails.
At this protected cove you’ll usually find surfers, both experienced and new, enjoying the waves.
Another favourite Oswald West State Park hike is the Neahkahnie Mountain hike, where you follow the tallest peak on the northern coast. The legendary Home of the Gods and mysterious buried treasure, today it’s one of the best north coast hikes up to the 1,680 foot summit where you can marvel at the spectacular beauty. Hiking Oregon coast style!
The most common route is starting from the southern Neahkahnie trailhead near the Hwy 101 lookouts. This route climbs 900 feet, passing by incredible old growth forest. The first viewpoint is at the 1.5 mile point. To get the full view of the coast from the summit, follow the rocky path to the summit.
At this point you have the option to return down the same path, or continue two miles down to the northern Neahkahnie trailhead.
Or try the longer Oswald West State Park hike, the 5 mile Cape Falcon Trail, connecting Short Sand Beach and Cape Falcon. You’ll travel through temperate rainforest and pass a scenic waterfall on the way, hiking on a portion of the Oregon Coast Trail.
The trail starts at the Short Sand Trailhead used for hike to Short Sand Beach, following the same tail to the beach. Once at Short Sand Beach, follow the signs for Cape Falcon and the trail through the forest.
You’re also in for a treat with the views of the majestic Neahkahnie Mountain. At mile 2.4 the trail takes you to Cape Falcon and 180º views of the Pacific Ocean.
Enjoy an afternoon at the famous Short Sand Beach at Oswald West State Park.
There's lots of things to do at Short Sand Beach - also known as Smuggler's Cove.
Pack a picnic and enjoy easy hiking, walking around the beach and poking through tide pools, and watch the surfers.
Sign the whole family up for surf lessons. Most beginning lessons take place at Short Sand Beach. Find out more here.
Look through tide pools when you catch just the right conditions.
Make like a professional photographer and take some spectacular photos.
Manzanita Beach Life Insiders Tip: The parking lots can be crowded during the busy season and holidays. Start your visit early on during these times.
Looking for more family activities on the north Oregon coast? Check out these kid friendly things to do in Manzanita here. Or take the family on a Tillamook Cheese Factory tour. While you're in Tillamook, be sure to visit the Kilchis Point Reserve and soak in the beauty. It's a little known Oregon Coast hikes.
Enjoy your visit to the beautiful Oswald West State Park ~
You won't want to miss it!
Thank you following along about life around our North Coast and Manzanita Beach area, our Manzanita activities, and the fabulous Oregon Coast!
Interested in staying at our oceanfront Manzanita vacation rentals? Contact us for more information about our houses on beautiful Manzanita Beach, Oregon.
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