Nehalem Bay State Park occupies almost 900 acres, while bordering the Pacific Ocean and Nehalem Bay but it wasn’t always a State Park. The vast sand spit was originally occupied by Native Americans who used the area as seasonal habitation grounds during the warmer months. Later, when the whites invaded, the land was surveyed in the 1850’s for settlements and then later platted for real estate development in 1908. Settler’s were cautious though, of the shifting sand dunes and big ocean waves and the land remained unsold and undeveloped.
Years later, Tillamook County acquired the properties for back taxes in the 1930’s and then transferred the land to the Sate of Oregon for to become a State Park. Over the next 20 years, park workers planted European beach grass, Shore pines and Scotch broom to stabilize the dunes, which took an additional 20 years to fully become established. After the area became stabilized, the Park opened it’s gates in 1972.
Along with the three miles of ocean beaches and 3 miles of bay beaches running parallel to one another, the Nehalem Bay State Park offers 300 campsites, a boat ramp, horse camps with equestrian trails, a paved biking trail, as well as an outdoor amphitheater for meetings, presentations and celebrations! The campsites range anywhere from full hookup to hiker / biker sites.
Fun Fact: Nehalem Bay State Park is also the only state park to accommodate airplanes! It features a 2,500-foot landing strip built in 1958, that gives access to six fly-in campsites.
We’re happy Nehalem Bay became a State Park, besides offering visitors a plethora of adventuring options, it is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, that live their lives in the sea below and sky above. Come visit us sometime! Stay a while, and (respectfully) observe the beauty we’re talking about!
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Living Room Realty – Manzanita