Oswald West State Park & Short Sands Beach
If you're looking for the ultimate in natural beauty, look no further than Oswald West State Park. Every possible shade of verdant green can be found somewhere within - complimented by the deep, rich red browns of trees, wooden bridges and rich soil. On the west, the park is bordered by the Pacific Ocean at Short Sands Beach, a crescent-shaped cove.
The park, named after past Governor Oswald West, offers camping, picnicking, wildlife viewing, fishing, beach access, hiking trails, old growth forest, marine life, restrooms and even wheelbarrows for transporting your camping gear from your car to your campsite. There are public parking lots on both sides of Hwy. 101.
In the short, quarter-mile from the parking areas through the park to the beach you'll feel like you've stepped into another time where everyday life is far away. There are several trails that lead to the beach, as well as a trail to the Cape Falcon overlook. You can also hook up with the Pacific Coast Trail. Maps are available at the beginning of the trails.
The cove which contains the beach offers unusual privacy. It is popular with surfers, windsurfers and boogie boarders. Short Sands Beach is framed by the cliffs of Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain.
The campground normally opens in March, but this year the opening has been delayed while park staffs deals with 1999's storm damage. The campground closes in November. Campsites are rated "primitive" and do not offer electrical hook-ups. There are no recreational vehicle sites.