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Oregon State Parks

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USA Parks
Oregon Coast Region
Oswald West State Park
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Oswald West State Park © Victor Echevarria
Oswald West State Park © Bobjgalindo / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Waves and two surfers at Short Sands Beach, access through Oswald West State Park off U.S. Route 101 in Oregon
Oswald West State Park © Jeff Gunn from Atlanta, USA / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Oswald West State Park
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Arch Cape, Oregon   97102
(lat:45.7698 lon:-123.9591) map location

Phone: 800-551-6949
Toll Free: 800-551-6949
Step out of your vehicle and into a place with natural beauty that truly inspires. Just a quarter mile from any of the parking areas to the beach, yet the rigors of everyday life are stripped away by the time your feet hit the sand. Although the walk is short, there are several different trails to the beach and lead you to the Cape Falcon overlook or to the Pacific Coast Trail. Be sure to pick up a map on the way into the park. All of the trails to the beach are through a mature forest; one trail follows the winding path of the Short Sands creek. This trail gives way to the spectacular view of the ocean and the creek meeting. This is your first glimpse of the ocean and Short Sands beach.

The beach is nestled in a cove that provides you with a feeling of total privacy. Popular with windsurfers and boogie boarders, the beach is always alive with activity. Surrounded by the mountains, the beach at Oswald West gives you a sense of being transported away from the trials of everyday life. Lose yourself; find Oswald West State Park.
History of the Area
Located on the northern Oregon coast, this 2,484-acre expanse of land was named after Oswald West, who served as Governor from 1911 to 1915. The park's history is deeply intertwined with that of its namesake.

Oswald West had a profound love for nature and during his tenure as governor he worked tirelessly to preserve public access to beaches in Oregon. His efforts led him being known as the "father" of these publicly owned areas along the coastline.

The area now bearing his name became part of state ownership in two phases: first through purchase between 1931-1948 and then by donation from Tillamook County in1954. It officially opened under its current title around mid-century but it wasn't until later years when more amenities were added including campgrounds which have since been removed due to environmental concerns.

This coastal haven has seen many changes over time; however one thing remains constant -its dedication towards preserving natural beauty while providing recreational opportunities for visitors such hiking trails or surfing spots at Short Sand Beach also referred locally Smuggler's Cove because legend says pirates used hide their treasure there centuries ago!

In recent times though erosion issues caused closure some parts like Devil's Cauldron trailhead yet despite challenges continues be popular destination both locals tourists alike thanks rich biodiversity stunning landscapes offer unique experience every visitor regardless season they choose visit!
1. Oswald West State Park offers swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
2. The park's Short Sand Beach is a popular spot for swimmers and surfers alike.
3. Be aware, ocean temperatures are often chilly even during summer months.
4. There are no lifeguards on duty so swim at your own risk.
5. Swimming conditions can vary greatly depending on weather and tide levels; always exercise caution when entering water bodies here.

1. Short Sand Beach Trail: This is a half-mile trail that leads to the beautiful sandy beach of Smuggler's Cove, surrounded by lush forest and cliffs.

2. Cape Falcon Trail: A moderate 5 miles round trip hike through old-growth Sitka spruce trees leading up to panoramic views at Cape Falcon headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

3. Neahkahnie Mountain South Hiking Trail: An approximately three mile out-and-back trail offering stunning coastal vistas from atop Neahkahnie Mountain with an elevation gain of about 900 feet.

4. Oregon Coast Trail (OCT): The park section offers around thirteen miles stretch along some scenic coastline featuring beaches, forests and cliff tops as part of this long-distance hiking route spanning across entire coast line in Oregon state.

5. Devils Cauldron Overlook Walkway: It's a short walk on wooden boardwalks providing breathtaking view over Devil's Cauldron sea stack formation below Oswald West State Park.

6. North Neahkanie mountain trails: These are series of interconnected loop trails running for several kilometers within dense rainforest environment filled with ferns & moss covered trees giving hikers true wilderness experience.

7. Short Sands south creek nature path: Easy walking track following alongside small stream flowing into ocean near Short sands beach area suitable for families or casual walkers looking for peaceful stroll amidst natural surroundings.

8. Suspension Bridge Path: Unique feature inside park where visitors can cross narrow suspension bridge while exploring various parts connecting different sections together.

9. Elk Flats Trails: Steep uphill climb towards Elk flats meadow known among bird watchers due its diverse avian species inhabiting surrounding areas.

10. Arch cape viewpoint trekking routes: Challenging hikes taking you high above Arch cape village presenting wide angle vista covering vast expanse pacific waters meeting rugged shoreline beneath.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 7 It was our favorite Camping Spot by jacobsonfamily
park review stars; one to five Our family loved camping at the park, with the road and cars some distance from the campground it was real camping. I hope they re-open the campground soon.
August 23 One of my favorites. Currently closed by dinjas
park review stars; one to five This park is currently closed to camping pending investigation of the condition of the trees in the area. Apparently one 11 ft. in diameter fell in the park over a couple of campsites in June 2008.
July 7 short sands by lpearson
park review stars; one to five the bast beach camping we oregonians have....if you can get a spot. thisplace is generally packed so if youre looking for a site get there early.
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Area Campgrounds
Sea Ranch RV Park
415 Fir Street
Cannon Beach, OR
Nearby Hotels

1. Starting from Portland: Take US-26 W towards Seaside and continue for about 70 miles.
2. Once in Seaside, turn right onto S Roosevelt Drive (signs for OR:101/Cannon Beach/Tillamook).
3. Follow OR:101 S for around 8 miles until you reach Arch Cape.
4. In Arch Cape, take a left onto Falcon Cove Road/Old Highway 101 N and drive for about half a mile.
5. Turn right onto Oswald West State Park Road.

1a) If coming from Tillamook or other southern areas: Head north on US-101 N/OR-6 E toward Nehalem Bay/Wheeler/Portland.
2a) Continue following US:101 N through Wheeler and Nehalem Bay until reaching Manzanita (~15 miles past Wheeler).
3a) Just before entering Manzanita city limits, turn left at Laneda Avenue/Main Street intersection (there will be signs indicating Oswald West State Park direction as well).
4a) Proceed westward along Laneda Ave which turns into Pacific Blvd after crossing over Neahkahnie Creek Bridge; follow it uphill out:of-town where road becomes Old Hwy 53/Necarney Rd.
5. ) After driving roughly two more scenic coastal:miles with ocean views aplenty: look carefully! There's an unassuming signpost marking entrance driveway off-road leading directly into parking lot area!

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Oregon State Parks