Hug Point State Recreation Site

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Hug Point State Recreation Site
Hug Point from above.jpg
View from near the parking area
Hug Point State Recreation Site is located in Oregon
Hug Point State Recreation Site
TypePublic, state
LocationClatsop County, Oregon
Nearest cityCannon Beach
Coordinates45°49′31″N 123°57′40″W / 45.8253°N 123.9611°W / 45.8253; -123.9611Coordinates: 45°49′31″N 123°57′40″W / 45.8253°N 123.9611°W / 45.8253; -123.9611[1]
Area43 acres (17 ha)
Operated byOregon Parks and Recreation Department
StatusDay use, year-round
ParkingOne parking area
A wagon and team cross Hug Point around the turn of the 20th century. The road, which is still there, was chipped into the rocky headland so wagons, stagecoaches and cars would not have to drive out into the surf to get around the point.

Hug Point State Recreation Site is a state park on the northern Oregon Coast in the U.S. state of Oregon.[2] Administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the park is open to the public and is fee-free. Amenities at the park, which is 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Cannon Beach along U.S. Route 101, include picnicking, fishing, and a Pacific Ocean beach.[1]

Hug Point, the cape for which it is named, lies in the park.

Late 19th century stagecoaches that used the beach as a highway "had to 'hug' this particular point even at low tide to get around it", hence the name Hug Point.[3]

Roadbed around the head[edit]

The primitive roadbed was chipped into the head by unknown persons around the turn of the 20th century to facilitate access to Arch Cape, which at the time was hug point only by driving a horse-drawn or motorized vehicle on the beach. This sometimes necessitated driving directly into the surf—an inconvenience in a stagecoach or wagon, but a real hazard in motorcars, which were far easier to get stuck and were disabled and immobilized by relatively small waves.[4] A persistent rumor claims that the roadbed was made by a man whose brand-new Maxwell car got stuck and was submerged by the incoming tide in the 1920s; however, photographic evidence shows the road was there well before 1920, and Oregon popular historian Ralph Friedman interviewed a stage driver who remembered using it before World War I.[5]

The 43-acre (17 ha) park has a large parking area, public restrooms, and a sloping walkway to the beach. Erosion has formed caves in sandstone cliffs along the headland's south side, which is also the site of a seasonal waterfall. The Oregon Coast Trail passes though the park along the beach.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hug Point State Recreation Site". Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved October 26, 2009.
  2. ^ "Hug Point State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 26, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Bannan, Jan (2002). Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide (2nd ed.). Seattle: Mountaineers Books. pp. 107–108. ISBN 0-89886-794-0.
  4. ^ John, Finn J.D. "Did this tiny, soggy, scary road save Oregon's public beaches?". Offbeat History project. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  5. ^ Friedman, Ralph (1978). In Search of Western Oregon. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton.