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Exploring Cape Meares
Published: 02/12/2009
 
Gary Hayes

Cape Meares is more than a lighthouse. Investigate trails, scenic viewpoints and spot wildlife with fur, feathers and fins.

Spring is here and along with it the desire to shake off winter and wander outside for some fresh air exploration. With everything there is to do and see, the park at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint makes for a perfect spring destination. Located about ten miles west of Tillamook at the north end of the Three Capes Scenic Loop, Cape Meares is a perfect springtime destination for exploring a section of the beautiful Oregon coast. Of course the star of the show at Cape Meares is the lighthouse, open to visitors April through October, but there is plenty more here than just a lighthouse. The park offers miles of nature trails featuring scenic viewpoints where visitors can often spot native birds like Bald Eagles, puffins, pelicans, cormorants and an occasional cliff side nest of Peregrine Falcons. Like the nearby Three Arch Rocks, Cape Meares hosts a wildlife refuge for creatures of fur and feather, but the park is also a good location for spotting marine life. Migrating whales as well as sea lions, porpoise and dolphins have been seen from the vistas at Cape Meares. Also an attraction here is the famous "Octopus Tree." At some 60 feet across at its base, this colossal long-time resident of the park offers some interesting and deep-rooted lore about its origins and you can read all about it at the interpretive center located inside the gift shop. The park also offers an outdoor picnic area and is wheelchair-friendly in many areas. No day-use fee is charged for park access. For more information, visit the Oregon State Parks website: www.oregonstateparks.org or call (800) 551-6949.

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