Cape Lookout State Park

Park History

The original acquisition for Cape Lookout was a 1935 gift of 975 acres on the cape from the U. S. Lighthouse Service. Additional land was purchase from various owners of the beach area north of the cape and the entire Netarts Sand Spit, once owned by Louis W. Hill of St. Paul, Minnesota. The Hill property was partially a gift and partially an exchange involving lands on the spit for lands at Cascadia State Park. Lands were acquired up to 1988, including a tract of 40 acres on the south side of the cape. Originally, the park was left undeveloped as a natural preserve. Sam Boardman, the first State Parks superintendent, wanted to limit development to minimal picnic use at Jackson Creek with a trail to the cape. This picnic area was developed by the Civilian Conservation Crews (CCC) during the late 1930s. A study of the park development potential was made in the early 1950s and work began in 1952.  In 1954 Cape Lookout opened a small campground which grew quickly to nearly the size of today's campground by the end of the 1950s. In the early 1960s, Tillamook County built a road from the south end of Netarts Bay over Cape Lookout to Sand Lake to provide road access to the trailhead on the cape, and to the park from the south. During World War II, an Army Air Force B-17 bomber struck the cape while on coastal patrol on August 1st, 1943. It took a full day for rescue crews to reach the sole survivor. A plaque in memory of the air crew is located on the cape trail.

Acreage: 2,014.28

Annual overnight attendance: 124,041

Annual day-use attendance: 144,780


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