Oregon has its share of ghost towns, telling the stories of those who worked to make a living in this very rural state. But even older – and perhaps more eerie – are Oregon’s ghost forests. A great one to visit if you’re interested in geology or just want to marvel at a strange sight is Neskowin Ghost Forest.
It’s located in an unincorporated community of the same name, just 12 miles north of Lincoln City. Wander amid the remnants of what used to be a Sitka spruce forest that was decimated some 2,000 years ago when massive tidal waves inundated the area. The cause?
An earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone shifted the forest into the coastal tidal zone. Over time, the sand and saltwater killed the forest. Now Neskowin visitors can see the tree stumps at low tide, when these trees once stood over 150-200 feet tall. It’s a lovely and quiet place to take a beach walk, with the stumps standing like sentinels all along the coast. Time the trip around sundown or sunrise to capture the full effect of a low tide and dramatic silhouettes.
The area is fairly easy to access, and can be seen year-round. Drive north of Lincoln City on Hwy 101, and at milepost 98 you will find Neskowin.