Visions of a Tunnel and Secret Cave: Oceanside, on the Oregon Coast
(Oceanside, Oregon) – The tiny town of Oceanside is proof of the old adage “good things come in small packages.” At the initial glance, it looks like there’s not much to it. But it’s deceptively layered and multifaceted – you just have to know where to look, or at least simply start exploring.
Starting with that tunnel at Maxwell Point, which was burrowed out here early in the 20th century by a family of would-be resort makers. Things didn’t turn out as grandiose as they might have planned, but the tunnel is a magnificent little sojourn that’s part nature and history walk and part fun house thrill attraction. It’s awe-inspiring in the natural, geological sense, but a little spooky and disconcerting, like a house of mirrors.
When you begin this little walk, you should pay heed to the ominous warnings of possible rock slides. You are entering at your own risk. But unless the tide is in extreme retreat, there’s no other way to make it around the point and witness one of the more amazing secret spots on the coastline.
Getting down the other side of the tunnel is a bit precarious, but it’s much easier to get up. You’ll want to be very careful stepping down.
Right about here is where you can spot some old remnants of the concrete paving that was once inside the tunnel.
Here, you’ll find this stunning hidden beach that’s often rich in agates. This secret beach beyond Maxwell Point is full of numerous other oddities and rocky pleasures to explore. It’s become increasingly known by the nickname “Star Trek” beach because of certain features that resemble episodes from the original series.
While this stretch of beach is full of little rocky caves and holes to explore, there’s one that’s often hidden, sitting immediately next to the tunnel entrance. It’s only accessible when the tide is out and a little lower than usual.
This shallow cave is initially impressive and slightly awe-inspiring with its height, but it doesn’t go very far back.
When conditions allow, however, it means lots of intertidal life becomes apparent along the outer walls of the cave. Brilliant colors spring to life in the form of a massive colony of starfish and other tide pool wonders. Like the rest of the beach, it can be rich in tidepooling activities, given the right tides.
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