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Park It: Oswald West State Park
Published: 06/06/2008
 
Oswald West State Park between Cannon Beach and Manzanita
Oswald West State Park between Cannon Beach and Manzanita

Situated between Cannon Beach and Manzanita on the North Coast of Oregon, Oswald West State Park is an excellent place to indulge a desire for hiking, photography, water sports and other outdoor activities, with beach, mountain and meadow as a playground.

Ten miles south of Cannon Beach lies a rich pocket of rainforest wonderland known as Oswald West State Park. Named after Oregon's 14th governor, the park boasts 2484 acres of majestic splendor, including temperate old-growth forest, striking coastal headlands and a secluded sandy beach. Thirteen miles of the Oregon Coast Trail wind through the forest to Cape Falcon and up Neahkahnie Mountain, rewarding hikers with arresting views of the Pacific and the Oregon shoreline. A half-mile walk from the parking lot will deliver you to Smuggler's Cove and Short Sands Beach, popular with surfers, boogie-boarders and kayakers. The beach also offers opportunities for clamming, fishing, sand castle construction and good old-fashioned daydreaming. Extensive stretches of exposed rock mesmerize aspiring geologists while tide pools provide colorful lessons in marine ecology. Whales, sea lions and harbor seals are often seen offshore, and bald eagles, owls, deer, elk, raccoons and many other animals make Oswald West their home. Remain quiet and alert and you're sure to spot some wildlife. The park also provides guided tide walks during the summer months, inviting you to enhance your knowledge as you enjoy the scenery. Hikers, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts won't want to miss this truly exceptional State Park. For more information, call (800) 551-6949 or check www.oregonstateparks.org. - By Jenna Boyle

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