Oswald West State Park, Oregon

After being tempted to stop at one roadside ocean-access park after another, you come upon a park that offers a bit more.  Oswald West State Park requires you do a little walking, before receiving your oceanic reward.
Oswald West State Park is located on US 101, north of Manzanita.

  It’s a short trip from the parking area to the water, and along the way you’ll be passing between tall trees, beside a small stream.

The suspension bridge over Necarney Creek is one of the park’s landmarks.  Cross the bridge, and you’re setting off on a 3.8 mile (one way) hike to the summit of Neahkanie Mountain (elev. 1,700 ft.).  Of course, you can always walk halfway across the bridge and jump a few times for fun, if you trust it.

The view from the suspension bridge shows another footbridge, and beyond it, the Pacific Ocean.

The beach at Oswald West is covered with gravel and driftwood.

On the way back to the parking area, you can take a different path, which ends up in almost the same place.

Not far down the road, you’ll find this view of the beach near Manzanita, and in the far distance, Nehalem Bay


US 101 heads inland for the trip around Nehalem Bay.  I decided to stop in the tiny town of Wheeler, which offers a few stores, a railroad crossing…

… and a floating dock, perfect for viewing Nehalem Bay.


There are two big tourist draws in Tillamook, aside from the ocean.  One is the giant Tillamook Cheese factory pictured above.  You can take a free tour, sample some gouda, and try the factory’s other dairy specialty, ice cream.  It’s all wildly popular, and there’s a huge parking lot.

The other attraction is the Tillamook Air Museum, located two miles south of town in what very well might be the world’s largest wooden structure — a giant hangar built to house anti-submarine airships in 1942. It’s now home to one of the top five privately owned aircraft collections in the country.

I drove past the cheese factory without stopping.  I completely missed the air museum, because I turned off US 101 at Tillamook, onto the Three Capes Loop.

You can find more information on the Tillamook Cheese Factory here, or the Tillamook Air Museum here.

Note: This trip was first published in 2007.

No comments

You might also enjoy this...

Little Beaver State Park

Looking for a place to go fishing near Beckley?  Or maybe just a scenic spot to stretch your legs and go for a walk?  You ...