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The Pacific Index

Adventure column:

Staff writer explores Ecola State Park

Erika Vives

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Only an hour and a half away from the Pacific University campus lays the beautiful Ecola State Park. A wonderful nine-mile-long stretch along the Oregon Coast that offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and spectacular wildlife which can sometimes be seen roaming around in the lush surrounding greenery.

Ecola State Park offers a wide variety of fun recreational activities to take part in, including great hiking locations, picnicking spots and surfing.

The park is full of vast wide areas to explore, and long and traversing trails to follow.

Deer, elk, bald eagles, and migrating grey whales are common to the area and draw visitors to the park year round. The best time to see migrating whales is in the spring, so now is the ideal time to go.

Although visitors usually drive to reach the entrance of the park, some people find it more enjoyable to hike from the beginning of the Ecola Point road that eventually ascends to Ecola Point, one of the most popular destinations in the park.

The hike is two-miles-long with a constant steady incline. You’ll be surrounded by luscious Sitka Spruce forest and captivating foliage that lines the winding road. An extra bonus is that you do not have to pay the $5 entrance fee that you would have had to if you were driving.

Once you have reached Ecola Point there are a variety of places to check out. On days when the weather is clear there are picnic tables both with and without awnings for all to enjoy. There are even areas to play games like soccer, frisbee and or football.

Although the park is accessible year round, there has been an emergency closure to the popular Indian Beach destination and all access to the beach is unavailable until May 31. Both the road and trail to reach Indian Beach are closed due to severe storm damage.

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