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Situated on Oregon’s coastline, Ecola State Park not only offers visitors stunning ocean views but provides them with a unique look at the area’s history as it is filled with numerous archeological sites. The mixed ecosystem within the park allows guests to not only hike through forests and along rocky coasts but view tidepools and watch rare forms of wildlife roaming through the land.
Ecola State Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located near a few famous coastal cities, such as Seaside and Cannon Beach. The area tends to be very chilly and windy in the winter and rainy during the spring.
There are many things to do outdoors at Ecola State Park. One thing visitors can do while here is fishing. Thanks to the park’s location next to the ocean, it is a prime spot for fishing. Fishers can take a boat out into the water or stand on the beach with their fishing rods. A few common species that can often be found here include salmon, trout, and bass.
Another outdoor activity to try while at Ecola State Park is hiking. The park features many pathways that will take you along its rugged coastline and through thick spruce forests. One trail to trek down is the Clatsop Loop Trail, which spans over two miles and was explored by the Corps of Discovery during the 1800s as they searched for whales. Another option is the Crescent Beach Trail. This trail offers stunning panoramic views of the coastline and will take you to Crescent Beach.
Photographers can also grab their cameras to document the many plants and animals living in the park. Some you might see while here include harbor seals, puffins, Roosevelt elk, whales, white oaks, and pine trees. During the spring and summer, the park is filled with fragrant wildflowers, such as verbena, yarrow, windflower, and columbine.
Book an RV in Clatsop County and stay at a handful of motorhome campgrounds located nearby. One option is Sea Ranch RV Park. This camper park features somewhat rustic sites that come with picnic tables and fire rings. The campground does have a large Sundance Station that contains a laundry room, wellness center, and a general store. There are also stables filled with friendly horses who you can take out on a guided ride along the shoreline.
Another nearby campground is Bud’s RV Park & Campground. This travel trailer campground offers spacious campsites that come with amenities such as electric, water, picnic tables, WiFi, and laundry room access. There’s also a small RV supplies center and propane filling station on the grounds.
There are plenty of interesting destinations situated near Ecola State Park to visit if you’d like to take a day trip into the area with your camper. Only a few minutes away in Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock. Towering over the beach at 235 feet, this geological formation is thought to be one of the tallest intertidal structures on Earth. Visitors can take photos of this natural wonder, or take a hike up to it during low tide where they’ll be able to see starfish and crabs. Haystack Rock is also a favorite nesting spot for a variety of birds throughout the year, such as puffins, Western gulls, black oystercatchers, and harlequin ducks.
In Seaside, stop by the Seaside Aquarium. This aquarium, believed to be one of the oldest of its kind on the West Coast, is home to many different marine species, such as sea turtles, seals, and wolf eels. You will be able to observe these creatures while also learning more about them and how the aquarium works to conserve their habitats.
About an hour away in Hillsboro is the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals. This museum contains thousands of different rocks and minerals visitors can view. A few you’ll find hidden away inside include gold nuggets, emeralds, rubies, and silver. The museum is also home to many rare rocks and minerals, such as papagoite and benitoite, as well as the “Alma Rose.” While here, attend one of the many events held at the museum throughout the year, which range from summer festivals to gemology classes.
Head over to Salem to explore the Oregon Garden. This 80-acre horticultural highlight is home to over 20 specialty gardens that showcase the unique plants of the Pacific Northwest. There is a tram tour provided that lasts about 25 minutes and allows you to hop-on or hop-off at different spots on the grounds.