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Oregon Coast Hotspot Near Cannon Beach Has a Different Face

Published 09/07/2011

Oregon Coast Hotspot Near Cannon Beach Has a Different Face

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) - It's not one of the biggest, most recognizable names among beach accesses on the Oregon coast, but it has some distinctive features that make it a justifiable favorite among many regulars to the varied sands south of Cannon Beach.


Arcadia State Park sits a bit between the famed village and the tinier town of Arch Cape, featuring a somewhat long stairway descending to a pristine stretch of sand that contains a few fascinating rocky features. A basalt promontory sometimes cuts things off from a trip northward - depending on the tides - but it has some cave-like indentations that add to the fun. To the north and the south are more wowing walks on perfect, unspoiled beach, and the parking area above allows for comfortable viewing any time of year, should the weather be not so cooperative.


Normally, Arcadia also hosts a nice sampling of tide pools teeming with funky life forms - but current beach conditions have done something odd to this place and other spots on the coast.

What a difference a few feet of sand makes. Sand levels abruptly became abnormally high this year, turning most of the beaches around the coast into something that looks like a constant low tide event, yet it has also covered up what are normally major tide pool spots. Ironically, conditions that would usually present more tide pool areas are being created by a phenomenon that actually hides them under layers of sand.


The resulting changes at Arcadia Beach - and granted this may not last long - are that you can walk out quite a ways to a surf line that takes you beyond the craggy rock structure that characterizes this beach. Some say it resembles a dragon, but this dragon is usually fairly covered up by an often-raging tide. In fact, you frequently can’t even get around the bend to walk north.

Now, however, you can even see the west side of this rock structure - something you couldn’t normally see unless you were in a boat.


Another interesting side effect here is the sizable sand bar, which has made a kind of bulging tract running north to south just before the tide line. This has also resulted in a slightly lower section behind the bulge, so that you get a kind of creek that didn’t exist before. Water from the ocean travels down this slight indention to make an extremely shallow and barely perceptible body of water - really more like a really, really long puddle of ocean water.


Above you can see what the place usually looks like during regular sand levels.

Another interesting facet of Arcadia State Park are the rampant exposed root systems that populate the area above the beach. Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours





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