Photo courtesy of Shane Kucera
Located on the Oregon Coast between Cannon Beach and Manzanita, Hug Point State Recreation Site is an easy-to-access location just off of Highway 101. This is a great place to visit for either a beach day with the family or for a quick stop while traveling along the coast.
At Hug Point’s parking lot you will find restrooms, forested picnic areas, and a very short trail to access the beachfront. The recreation site can be a worthwhile stop at any time, but it is an exceptionally enjoyable experience at low tide. When the tide is low, you can reach the beach cove enclosed by cliffs vegetated with ferns, Sitka spruce and salal. There are numerous caves carved out of these same sandstone cliffs, lending themselves to short-but-fun explorations or some respite from the weather on rainy days. Low tide is also when you can access the exceptional tide pools at Hug Point, full of sea anemones, starfish and an array of other small sea creatures.
Hug Point received its name because early pioneers literally had to “hug” the point of land while traveling along the coast via stagecoach. Before a highway existed along the coast, the beach was the only way to travel by stagecoach, and you can still see the wheel ruts from the original stagecoach road dug into the rocks as you explore the northern point of the recreation site. As the name suggests, be cautious of the tide—you can be stranded at high tide if you spend too much time exploring the point.