Cannon Beach is a small community known for its art galleries, seaside vistas and Haystack Rock - a 235 foot monolith towering over the beach. This sea-stack is home to nesting birds and abundant with inter-tidal marine wildlife. Long ago, it was a part of the actual coastline.
While Cannon Beach was a must visit on our roadtrip - we also got a tip to check out Crescent Beach at Ecola State Park on the north side of town. We followed a curvy road for about two miles through a coastal rainforest to the parking lot at Ecola Point, and from there followed trail signs to Crescent Beach. The hike is 3 miles round trip. It was a chilly, gray day - our first encounter with the type of weather you'd expect from the Pacific Northwest. My photos don't do justice to the magic of the forest hike; the piercing green colors surrounding, the lushness of the ferns, the towering evergreen canopies.
There are families and tourists running around on Cannon Beach, but on Crescent Beach you're secluded among the sweeping shores and magnificent views of the rocky coastline and infinite ocean.
10 miles south of Cannon Beach in Oswald State Park are a couple of hikes I had planned on that we didn't have time for: Cape Falcon & Neah-kah-nie. We chose instead to take in the towns and vistas along 101 in the day light. From the car we checked out Manzanita, Tillamook, Cape Meares State Park, Depoe Bay and the Otter Crest Loop - arriving to Devil's Punchbowl at Cape Foulweather around dusk before continuing to our next home-base - Newport.