The Best One-Mile Hike in Oregon – Short Sand Beach Trail Oswald West State Park
Words and Travel Photos by Steven Shomler
I cannot wait to tell you about one of my most favorite Oregon State Parks – Oswald West State Park on the Tillamook Coast.
I have been going to this incredible Oregon state park since I first moved to Portland back in 2004. Let’s see, if my math is right, that would be 14 years ago.
The Oregon Coast
In my opinion no trip to Oregon, and especially no trip to Portland, Oregon is complete without taking a trek out to see the Oregon Coast.
The Oregon Coast is one of most majestic pieces of geography we have in the United States.
And if you are going to venture out to the Oregon Coast – I highly encourage you to head out Highway 26 take a left onto 101 and drive down to Oswald West State Park.
Why This the Best One-Mile Hike In Oregon
Below I will tell you how to get to Oswald West State Park and give you an important travel tip.
But first let me tell you why this is the very best one-mile hike in all of Oregon.
This one-mile hike, or one-mile walk if you prefer – is enchanting and romantic and not to be missed!
From the parking lot you will head down the trail and immediately walk under 101.
Right away you will notice to your right, running along side the trail, a beautiful little creek – Short Sand Creek.
This creek will be your companion all the way down to the ocean. Walking along this path with this creek flowing alongside – it’s captivating.
There’s an awesome feature about this trail – from the very beginning of the path you have foliage overhead.
This path is in the shade on those warm summer days, and when it’s raining, as it often does here in Oregon, the trees above act like an umbrella.
I have walked down Short Sand Beach Trail in a driving rainstorm in I’ve been fine until I got to the ocean.
As you begin to reach the end of the trail you will start to hear the roar of the ocean – look ahead a little – you will see a delightful wooden bridge that you will soon be crossing.
The path will veer to the left before you cross this bridge, which runs parallel to the ocean.
Step out onto the bridge, walk halfway, and turn to your left and look out toward the ocean – there it is! Through the trees at the end of the creek is the Pacific Ocean!
Cross the bridge and you’re almost there, you are almost to Short Sand Beach. You will go up a rise and there’s a little plateau.
You will find a few picnic tables and the most wonderful bench for sitting in and looking out onto the ocean.
Don’t miss this bench, take a moment or two to sit and reflect and enjoy the view.
If you head off to your right, you will find steps down to the beach itself. This final part of the path down to beach is a little bit rocky and depending on the time of year, it can be muddy.
If it is raining hard, this is where you can begin to get very wet.
If you do decide to head down to the beach let me tell you what you find if you head off down the beach to the left, and what you will find if you if you off down the beach to the right.
To the left you will see other creek running out to the ocean – Necarney Creek.
On the beautiful warm summer days we get here in Oregon you will see young children playing in the shallow water off to left.
If you walk down to the beach to the right – you can go quite a ways depending on how far out the tides are. Looking to your right you will see waterfalls cascading down the hill.
A Four-Season Hike
This is a four-season hike! You can enjoy this trail winter, spring, summer, and fall.
In the summer I’ve taken a beach chair, packed a picnic lunch & a good book, and spent the day just hanging out at the beach watching the surfers and enjoying an incredible view.
In the spring and in the fall I still bring my lunch. I enjoy it at the picnic tables at the small plateau that is there just before you head down to the beach.
In the winter I sometimes just need to down walk this trail and see and hear and smell the ocean.
This is one of those places that feeds the soul that I am.
Depending on how hard it is raining I may not even walk out onto the beach. I may just stay back under the trees and enjoy the setting for a bit before heading back up the trail.
I cordially invite you to come enjoy the Short Sand Beach Trail – The Best One-Mile Hike In Oregon.
For More Information about Oswald West State Park see this Visit Tillamook Coast article here – www.tillamookcoast.com/where-to-go/oswald-west-state-park
Getting to Oswald West State Park
If you are coming from Portland – Oswald West State Park is about 80 miles away. It is approximately an hour and half drive and so incredibly worth the trip.
Coming from Portland – you will head down 26, take a left onto 101, go past Cannon Beach, go past Arch Cape, and shortly thereafter you’ll find yourself at Oswald West State Park.
Here is a travel tip – if you are headed to Oswald West and you get to Manzanita you’ve gone too far turn around and head back.
I can’t you how many people I have met who going to out to the Oregon Coast, whom I sent out to Oswald West who later said, “I must’ve missed it, and we ended up in Manzanita and kept going down the coast”.
If you’re coming from Portland – the parking lot for Oswald West State Park is on the left. The ocean will be on your right and you’ll turn left into the parking lot.
From the parking lot it’s a half-mile down the Short Sand Beach Trail to Short Sand Beach.
Below you will find a few more photos I have taken on my treks to Oswald West!
#YouHaveToTravel and when you go #HaveMagnificentMeals
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
Adventures on The Oregon Coast
To see all of Steven Shomler’s Oregon Coast content – Culinary Treasure Podcasts, Craft Beer Podcasts, as well as Travel articles and Culinary Treasure articles go to www.AdventuresOnTheOregonCoast.com
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