Located just south of the iconic Cannon Beach is a hikers and surfers paradise, Oswald State Park. After years of being a Cannon Beach die-hard, I will mostly skip a stop to Haystack for the trails and rugged beach of Oswald State Park. As a photographer, here is why I love this location for my clients and my own family’s adventures.
What Makes Oswald State Park Unique
- Oswald State Park is an all-in-one destination. There are sandy beaches, rocky creeks, driftwood everywhere, and trails. The trails that connect to Neahkahnie Mountain give never-ending views of the pacific ocean on clear days.
- Tide pools without the crowds. Tide Pools are a massive draw on the Oregon Coast, and Oswald has them in spades. What it doesn’t have in spades is crowds descending at low tide. Yes, it is occasionally crowded with surfers and beachcombers. However, the tide pools are typically less packed.
- Did you know there is a waterfall at low tide? Yup! And it makes for epic photos in front of a waterfall coming down the rocks.
Family Photography at Oswald State Park
I love taking families to Oswald almost as much as I do to Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach.
You can read more about my review of Cannon Beach here if you’re interested in that iconic location.
A family session at Oswald gives you a couple of things I value. First, the diversity of forested trails, sandy beaches, and rugged terrain. You will get a wide selection of images if you choose this spot.
Second, Oswald State Park is less crowded than the other popular locations on highway 101. I said “mostly” because the parking for Oswald can be FULL. Don’t let that discourage you, as it’s often half-filled with surfers and hikers. Even on busier days, people are spaced out.
Alright, the part that really matters if you have a rambunctious, unruly pile of fur like me. Oswald State Park is pretty dog-friendly. It probably rates pretty high when it comes to the other busy beaches.
There are garbages and poop bags along the walk to the beach. Once you get there, you may encounter off-leash dogs but far less than other spots. Another bonus is the freshwater creek available for your pup to get a drink.
Oswald State Park Details
Head here for information on how to get there and where to park. Check the tide tables as high tide limits many cool attractions. Need a bathroom? Make sure to use the one in the parking lot before heading down.
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