Exploring Oregon’s Hug Point State Park
Escape any crowds you might have encountered on Cannon Beach by heading south to Hug Point. It is easy to let little (and big) imaginations run wild as you explore caves carved out by the rising tide, skip a few stones and stalk a few crazy surfers.
History explains the name of this particular park; stagecoaches would travel along the beach, hugging the point as they rode by. You can still walk the original trail early settlers took just north of the parking lot.
We skipped the trail and just headed to the beach.
Our adventures started around 10am and we had the beach almost completely to ourselves. A few surfers were out catching some small waves before heading off to work. They were in full, head to toe wetsuits; smart move since the water couldn’t have been more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10c). We were in sweatshirts; they were throwing themselves into the ocean.
Dek looked for dragons in the caves with Mike. I climbed a few boulders looking for the waterfall that supposedly was to be found on the beach. I later learned that the tiny trickle coming off one of the stones was a much larger waterfall in wetter weather. We’d had a pretty dry summer so far.
It was an easy morning exploration. We were soon back at our hotel for nap time and a little more digging in the sand at Cannon Beach. I’m just disappointed we didn’t get back at sunset. The light would have been incredible.
Know Before You Go
- Hug Point State Recreation Park, 5 miles south of Cannon Beach on U.S. Route 101
- Cost: free to everyone
- Strollers? No. Put your baby in a carrier and let walkers explore on foot.
- Restrooms are available in the parking lot
- Hiking is easy and the beach is flat.
- Dangers: keep a very careful watch on the tide. You can get trapped during high tide.
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written by Keryn Means