Bizarre Oregon Beaches You've Never Heard Of
(Oregon Coast) – One is smack dab in the middle of a bustling beach burgh; the other is tucked away in the middle of a kind of coastal nowhere.
Do you know where to find the most whole sand dollars on the Oregon coast? Do you know where you can walk along the river and the sea at the same time? What freaky little beach contains even more freaky little features?
Two spots on Oregon’s north coast contain these oddities – and more.
Secrets at the North End of Seaside
You can see part of the Necanicum River and Estuary Walking Trail from Highway 101, where hordes of rugged dunes cover both sides of the river as it winds its way out to sea.
The river is popular for all sorts of activities like boating, crabbing and fishing (although the sand bar at its mouth is not navigable).
The walking trail is accessible from the parking lot at 12th Avenue. It winds on for about a mile as you enter more and more unspoiled territory, eventually winding up at a slightly rocky area near the bay mouth.
Head west down 12th Avenue, across the river, and you’ll end up at the northernmost end of the Seaside Promenade. Here, a huge parking lot allows access to a large concrete viewing platform (which is rather high, so it takes a bit of stretch of the legs to hop on it. It is shielded from the wind by big Plexiglas panes, however, which is nifty.
To the north, there are sizable dunes, plenty of Seaside’s typically sandy beaches. But this beach, between the access and the rivermouth, is populated with more whole sand dollars than any other beach on the Oregon coast. Because of the nutrients that are funneled into the area just beyond the breakers, there are enormous beds of them lurking in the waters around here and at the southern end of Gearhart. That, coupled with the fact this beach on either side of the Necanicum is rarely walked upon, and thus never raided, makes for more of the complete sand dollars.
Short Beach, Near Oceanside
Lurking on the side of Meares Loop Rd. near Radar Rd., just a tiny bit north of MP 4, sits this stunning hidden spot.
Short Beach (which once boasted an actual radar station) is chock full of scenic yumminess, starting with the large, bulbous rock structure plopped at the tide line, sporting a small patch of trees on top. You can't climb the structure, except perhaps at its base at low tide, but it is a beauty.
On one end of the cove, the weird rock structures near Oceanside poke out from behind the cliff. At the other end sits the Cape Meares lighthouse and another small sea stack. A massive waterfall spills gently into the ocean - just out of reach of the beach, and there's also a rocky cove within this cove.
Access to the beach was once plenty precarious, leaving visitors with copious concussions and such from the slippery trail that was also quite steep. In the middle of the decade, locals constructed an enormous stairway which snakes its way to the bottom. It’s a maker of leg cramps, but it’s much safer – and easy on the eyes as well.
Next to the path sits a large concrete and steel
structure jutting out over the beach - a trippy and intriguing monstrosity
which allows you to walk out above the beach a little ways and take in
the view. This is part of a water run-off system, and after especially
hard rains it dumps water onto the beach with the roaring intensity of
a large waterfall.
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