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Seal Rock State Recreation Site
Published: 07/01/2014
Seal Rock makes an easy stop for day use exploring.
Seal Rock makes an easy stop for day use exploring.
Photo by Gary Hayes

Recapture your sense of natural wonder at Seal Rock State Recreation Site, a 4.7-acre wayside with plenty of marvels in store.

Bring a picnic and binoculars and spend an afternoon communing with nature at this tucked-away sanctuary. It's a wildlife watcher's wonderland and a charming interlude from a day of hopping among the coast's busier beaches. This sheltered spot is a gathering ground for all manner of coastal wildlife from sea lions frolicking in the surf to shorebirds plying the currents in search of a briny breakfast.

A smattering of large, offshore rocks adds interest to the typical coastal sunset photo. These rocks are named after various objects they're purported to resemble. Can you spot "Elephant," "Tourist" and "Castle" rocks?

The scenic stretch of beach and the dramatic display of waves slamming against rocky outcroppings might keep you entertained for hours, but don't forget to look down: at low tide, there's a veritable universe unfolding at your feet, where strange and wonderful sea creatures including starfish and sea anemone dance among the wayside's many tide pools. Come during minus tide for even better pool-gazing.

The park offers some accessible viewpoints overlooking the beach and rock formations, but getting to the beach requires a trip down a trail and over some rocks, so the beach is not recommended for those with mobility issues. Seal Rock State Recreation Site is located off U.S. Highway 101, at the town of Seal Rock, 10 miles south of Newport.  - By Erin Bernard

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