Cape Meares State Park and Lighthouse

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Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is located about 6 miles north of Netarts, Oregon.

To reach the Cape Meares SP–Lighthouse (45.485711, -123.974656) from the intersection of Highway 131 and Netarts Bay Dr. in Netarts, travel northbound on Highway 131/Netarts Hwy W for 2.4 miles to Cape Meares Loop/Bayshore Drive. Turn right (northeast) and travel 1.8 miles to Cape Meares Lighthouse Dr. Turn left (west) and travel about 0.5 miles to a parking area with interpretive kiosks, two observation decks, a picnic area, and restrooms. Cape Meares SP (45.487982, -123.969369) is contiguous with Cape Meares SP — Lighthouse.

Short Beach (45.472997, -123.970066), along the above-described route, is reached by hiking down a steep trail from Cape Meares Loop/Bayshore Drive where it crosses Short Creek. Parking is in turnouts alongside the road.

Oregon Birding Trail: Choose the Oregon Coast Birding Trail, click on the North Coast tab and go to section 34


Habitat and Birds

Cape Meares SP–Lighthouse and Cape Meares SP occupy a scenic headland. This headland offers outstanding wildlife viewing. Habitats here are old growth coast Sitka Spruce/Western Hemlock forest, rocky headland cliffs, and offshore rocks. The remnant old growth forests here contrast with the almost entirely cut-over nearby forest lands. The Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint map shows the site layout.

From the parking area, a paved 0.5-mile loop trail descends to the Historic Cape Meares Lighthouse. The lighthouse trail has viewpoints for viewing the cliffs to the north where Peregrine Falcons have nested. Nesting falcons can be active from early March through June. At the lighthouse, there are views of the open ocean and offshore rocks of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

There are two wildlife observation decks, one to the north and one to the south, of the parking area. Both offer excellent views of the open ocean and headland cliffs. The north deck offers views of Peregrine Falcon nesting areas and offshore islands.

The Octopus Tree trail (see Map) ascends easterly through Sitka Spruce/Western Hemlock forest from the parking lot. The trail continues for about 0.5 miles beyond the tree for an out-and-back trip in the coastal forest.

Short Beach is a rocky cobble beach set against rocky cliffs. As noted, reaching this beach involves descending a steep trail. This is a great place to find Black Oystercatchers, Black Turnstones, Surfbirds, and (with luck) Rock Sandpipers.

eBird Checklists:

eBird Hotspot checklist for Cape Meares SP–Lighthouse

eBird Hotspot checklist for Cape Meares SP

eBird Hotspot checklist for Short Beach