Home to scenic landmarks and unspoiled natural surroundings, Cannon Beach has everything to satisfy day tourists and backpackers alike. This nine-mile beach is well-suited for strolling and activities such as flying a kite or relaxing on the sand with something special from the local bookstores scattered along the Oregon coast. Travelers enjoy walking down the white sand and have a great time capturing images of the earthly surroundings. The unusual name of this beach comes from the discovery of rusted cannon, which was found lying on a part of the deck of an old US Navy schooner named Shark, wrecked in 1846 when it was departing the Columbia River.
The beach is best known for its outdoor activities, whether it's fishing or visiting the famous Haystack Rock and Ecola State Park. Cannon Beach Oregon activities attract hundreds of travelers looking for an eco-friendly holiday destination. One of the best ways to enjoy an environmentally friendly excursion here is to visit the Haystack Rock, a 236-foot basalt monolith located 1.5 miles south of downtown Cannon Beach. Revered as one of the largest natural coastal monoliths, Haystack Rock is intertidal, which means it can be accessed via land during low tides. A beautiful refuge for many rare birds, this rock is a favorite tourist spot in Oregon.
Haystack Rock is home to many birds and marine wildlife, as the area below this tall monolith is known as a marine garden. The garden's tide pools are teeming with marine animals like crabs, starfish, and anemones. It is an important habitat for several seabirds such as the pelagic cormorant, pigeon guillermot, and tufted puffin. There are more than 2,000 seabirds that nestle around the diverse eco-system of this intertidal area. Human intervention in the form of fishing, collecting plants and animals, or disturbing wildlife is prohibited, as the rock is a protected wildlife refuge and categorized as a national wilderness area. When visiting the rock, be especially careful that you don't get too close to a bird's nest, as these birds are extremely sensitive to any form of human interaction, and a slight disturbance may force them to abandon nests or stop laying eggs. Check the local laws regarding the safest distance to watch these birds, and while Haystack Rock is a wonderful sight to see, climbing is strictly prohibited to ensure safety of both travelers and wildlife.
Besides visiting the rock, there are many other outdoor Cannon Beach Oregon activities that can keep you busy for hours. If you are interested in hiking, then the trails through the thick forests of Ecola State Park can be a perfect adventure on your Cannon Beach trip. Located north of Cannon Beach, off Highway 101, the park offers some of the best views of the Pacific coast, with trails that showcase the beach and the landmark monolith. This nice vantage point also has an excellent picnic spot. Don't forget your camera as the Ecola Point is known to be the most favored place to photograph the scenic beauty of Oregon's coast. You can also trail two miles from Ecola Point to reach Indian Beach, which is popular for surfing and other water sports.
One of the best Cannon Beach Oregon activities is fishing. Although fishing or collecting wildlife and plants is restricted in the surrounding areas of the beach, there are a few opportunities for game fishing. The best option is to seek information from the Department of Fish and Wildlife in Oregon to learn more about Cannon Beach fishing areas. You can also get information regarding freshwater and saltwater fishing, and which game fish are available in certain seasons, especially prized fish such as sturgeon, Albacore tuna, and Pacific salmon. Guests who are staying in Cannon Beach hotels and plan on spending several days in the area may also consider chartering a fishing trip to spend extra time on the water.