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Another Oregon Secret

Photos by Jamie Hale for The Oregonian

We can’t help ourselves at Oregon Forests Forever. We told you about the secret underwater forest in Clear Lake, now we’re spilling the beans on the hidden Short Beach on the Oregon coast, also known as Hundred Step Beach among locals.

This small beach is easy to miss, found between Oceanside and Cape Meares. The half-mile stretch is practically hidden from view, so you won’t find it unless you know what to look for. Its breathtaking scenery, small sea stack in the ocean and two waterfalls make the search worth the effort.

The Oregonian recently detailed how to find this hidden Oregon gem. You’ll find the path to the beach on the Cape Meares Loop north of Oceanside, south of Radar Road. An official sign marks the trail leading down a series of wooden stairs through the forest. Fair warning, only about a dozen cars can fit in the dirt pull-outs on both sides of the road at the trailhead. While that makes parking a challenge, it ensures that the beach can never become too crowded once you get there.

Safe access to Short Beach has only been around for about 20 years after neighbors came together to create a safer walkway. Many people were previously injured trying to navigate the muddy hillside. Read about the effort to create a safer path at Oregon Coast Beach Connection.

After taking the wooden steps through densely forested corridors you’ll reach the southern end of the beach. The beach is managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, but the forested trail is not. However, the steps and railing appear to be kept up and maintained – who has been keeping up with repairs remains a mystery.

Short Beach is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, meaning it’s a protected habitat for marine life, including the oystercatchers, gulls and other shorebirds that feed on mussels.

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