With a designated marine garden, diverse wildlife and breathtaking panoramas and vistas, the Cannon Beach Coastline has much to offer the coastal explorer.
Explore colorful tidepools, watch nesting puffins or photograph the sunset with waves crashing on Cannon Beach's world famous landmark towering 235 feet above the shoreline at ocean's edge. At low tide, you'll find sea stars of many colors, anemones that open like flowers at the bottom of the pools and tiny hermit crabs that scurry along in borrowed shells. From early spring to early summer, bring your binoculars and watch nesting seabirds including the Northwest's most accessible colony of Tufted Puffins. Haystack Rock is a natural treasure, a state protected marine environment and part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Parks and Panoramas
No excursion to Cannon Beach would be complete without visiting Ecola State Park, perched dramatically on the edge of Tillamook Head. Follow Ecola Park Road from the north end of Cannon Beach through old growth rainforest to the spectacular viewpoint overlooking Crescent Beach, Bird Rocks, Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock and other sea stacks. Paved walking trails lead to vantage points where you can see several miles of coastline to the south, nearby sea lion rocks and the historic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse lying just offshore on a lone rock in the Pacific. A short drive to the other side of the park leads to picturesque Indian Beach, a popular location for surfers. Ecola State Park offers several miles of hiking trails, picnic areas and great vantage points for bird watchers and whale watchers. Look for herds of Roosevelt Elk grazing in meadows. Several other nearby parks and recreation areas offer more great viewpoints and access to natural areas where you can enjoy scenic locations for a picnic, photography or a short hike through the moss-draped coastal rainforest. Just south of Cannon Beach is beach access and a picnic area at the Arcadia Beach wayside. The beach features rock formations and tidepools. Just to the south is Hug Point State Recreation Area. Hug Point features beach access where you will find caves, a small waterfall and the remains of the old roadway that once skirted the cliff face. About ten minutes south of Cannon Beach, you enter Oswald West State Park. The park encompasses nearly 2500 acres with several miles of hiking trails and is great for viewing spectacular wildlife.
Beach Access and Viewpoints
Cannon Beach offers nearly four miles of scenic sandy public beach with dramatic offshore rock formations. You can enjoy the scenery from many viewpoints and 44 public beach accesses are your passage to a wide variety of beach fun. The main public beach access points are adjacent to public parking areas in Downtown, Midtown, Tolovana Park and Les Shirley Park. Downtown, at the end of 2nd Street, is a viewpoint and a stairway to the beach. Just a block to the north is Whale Park, where a whale sculpture commemorates the visit from the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806. Tolovana Wayside at the south end of Cannon Beach offers beach access and views looking to the north of Haystack Rock and south to Silver Point. From many points on the beach, you can see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse just offshore to the north.
• Enjoy more than four miles of sandy beach and dramatic shoreline scenes.
• Discover tidepools and watch nesting puffins at Haystack Rock.
• Picnic or just enjoy the stunning views from Ecola State Park.
• Explore the charming village filled with galleries, boutiques and restaurants.
• Venture out to discover nearby State Parks and coastal communities.
- Published in: Cannon Beach Visitor's Guide 2011
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