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Oswald West State Park

Park History

  • Obtained between 1931 and 1976, by purchase and gifts from private owners, E. S. and Mary Collins, Tillamook County, S. G. Reed and Edward Tallman. Land exchanges with the State Board of Forestry and the Crown Zellerbach Corporation completed the park. Once named Short Sand Beach, the park was renamed Oswald West State Park in 1958 at a ceremony honoring former Oregon Governor Oswald West (1873-1960), by whose foresight nearly 400 miles of Oregon shoreline were set aside for public use. Short Sand Beach is located in Smugglers Cove, but there is no evidence of the cove having been used by smugglers. The park is another monument to the acquisition efforts of Parks Superintendent Samuel H. Boardman, who labored hard and long to acquire the principal lands between 1931 and his retirement in 1950. Mr. Boardman's protection foresight is represented by the 354 acres in a rugged portion of the park purchased for $18,000 in 1942. The Oregon Highway Commission agreed to acquisition on condition that enough timber could be sold off the property to cover the cost. This was early in Second World War when timber was needed for the war effort. The timber was offered for sale with enough restrictions that only minimum bids were tendered. These were rejected by the commission and the trees were saved. Early trail improvements at Oswald West Park were made by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1939 and 1941. Neah-kah-nie is thought to be derived from Clatsop or Tillamook languages as the name for the lofty mountain overlooking the ocean and the spirit associated with it. The walk-in campground was closed in 2008 after a 11-foot diameter spruce fell without warning. No campers were injured, though the tree did fall across several campsites. In 2009 after public discussion and an evaluation of the decayed and aging trees, OPRD decided to operate the park as day-use only.

Acreage: 2,474.43

Annual day-use attendance: 1,201,592

Oswald West State Park FAQ


Can I bring pets to the park?

Yes. Pets must be on a leash not more than six feet long, and kept under physical control at all times. You're responsible to pick up after your pets.


Must I leash my dog on the ocean shore?

The short answer is no, but the handler of any domestic animal on the ocean shore does have responsibilities. Please refer to an excerpt from our ocean shore rules, below:

(2) The handler of any domestic animal must be responsible for the animal's behavior and must exercise direct control over the animal while in the ocean shore state recreation area.

(a) “Direct control” means that the animal is within the unobstructed sight of the handler and responds to voice commands or other methods of control.

(b) Domestic animal handlers must carry a leash or restraining device at all times while in the ocean shore state recreation area.

(c) Domestic animal handlers must promptly leash animals at the request or order of a park employee.

(d) Handlers must prevent their animals from harassing people, wildlife and other domestic animals.

(e) Animals may not be hitched or confined in a manner that may cause damage to any natural resources on the ocean shore.

(f) Handlers are responsible for the removal of the animal's waste while in the ocean shore state recreation area.

Statewide FAQ

Available via this link