Monday, July 12, 2010
Oswald West State Park features nearly 2500 acres of pristine coastline, forests and coastal mountains. Located near milepost 40 along US101, just 10 miles south of Cannon Beach, this state park is a favorite of Portland day-trippers and surfers year round. The beach, known as “Short Sands” or “Shorties”, tucks into a half mile bay called Smugglers Cove. Legend has it pirate treasure is hidden in a cave near this cove. Oswald West State Park was named after the 14th Governor of Oregon. Some consider Oswald West one of Oregon’s finest governors, the man credited with establishing the Oregon beach highway law, opening all Oregon beaches to the public. Oswald West State Park stands as a tribute to a man who believed in the power of the people to create and maintain a better world for future generations. Part of the 382 mile long Oregon Coast Trail runs right through this state park. Oregon features around 150 miles of beaches, the largest section of public beaches in the United States. 40% of the Oregon Coast Trail is on the beach, another 40% is on paved roads and only 20% is a trail over headlands and through forested areas. Some of the best views along the entire stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail are found at Oswald West State Park. For a great beach bench view, walk 200 yards down hill along the Oregon Coast Trail off US101 between milepost 40 and 41. You’ll be hiking through Salal fields interspersed with wildflowers. Take the first left spur and walk out to the cliff’s edge. The Oregon State Parks have placed cabled fencing along this dangerous overlook at the edge of Devil’s Cauldron. Take a look to the north, to the entrance into Smuggler’s Cove and across to Cape Falcon. Enjoy Oswald West's vision of public access to beauty, set apart for generations to come, such as this bench found overlooking the Pacific. As John Keats wrote in his famous Sonnet to the Sea, "O ye who have your eyeballs vext and tir'd/ Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea."