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Ecola State Park: Cannon Beach's Perfect Perch
Published: 06/04/2009
 
Ecola State Park offers perfect vantage points for whale watching, bird watching and wildlife spotting.
Ecola State Park offers perfect vantage points for whale watching, bird watching and wildlife spotting.
photo by Gary Hayes

Ecola State Park lets you take in miles of scenic coastline, watch waves crash on an historic offshore lighthouse and enjoy the perfect vantage point for wildlife spotting.

Some of the most spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific coast can be enjoyed from Ecola State Park, just minutes from downtown ­Cannon Beach. The park is perched on the commanding rainforest-covered headland that frames the north end of Cannon Beach. From this viewpoint on Tillamook Head, you can see ­Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock and Cape Falcon to the south. Just offshore is the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. Ecola State Park features picnic areas, ­restrooms and 10 miles of hiking trails along coastal bluffs and through dense rainforest. The park also offers outstanding wildlife and bird watching opportunities. Elk frequently graze in the open meadows or wander through forest shadows. Bald Eagles can be spotted year-round and ­Peregrine Falcons are often seen hunting along the headland. This is also one of the coast's best locations to watch the winter and spring migrations of Gray Whales. The park's hiking trails cross Tillamook Head to south Seaside, a route taken 200 years ago by members of the Lewis and Clark ­expedition. The narrow park roads wind through dense moss-covered trees, leading to the Ecola viewpoint and scenic Indian Beach. Ecola State Park is for day-use only and a $5 fee is charged per car for park entrance. - By Gary Hayes

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