Neskowin Oregon Is Home To An Ancient “Ghost” Forest
Who knew stumps could be so mysterious and beautiful.
Along the coast of central Oregon, you’ll find the Neskowin Ghost Forest. It’s a cluster of the remains of ancient sitka spruce trees, which have been reduced to incredible-looking protrusions that look like lonely ghosts growing out of the sands in the ocean.
It’s breathtaking and spooky all at the same time.
The Former-Legend Is Now A Permanent Fixture
Experts estimate that the stumps are over 2,000 years old. In fact, when they were alive, the trees stood anywhere between 150-200 feet high.
The people of Neskowin, Oregon, used to know the stumps merely as a legend. For almost 300 years, the stumps of the “ghost forest” were concealed under the sand. Then, in the winter of 1997-1998, a brutal form hit the Oregon Coast.
The storm was so powerful that it eroded away a part of the beach. Because of this, it uncovered around a hundred old, barnacle-covered tree stumps. Before they actually surfaced, the locals of Tillamook County said that the stumps were only briefly visible every few decades.
Since that winter, however, visitors have come from all over to see the Neskowin Ghost Forest. It’s now a permanent fixture on the beach, and a haunting sight for anyone who takes the time to come and visit.
What Caused The Forest To Sink Beneath The Waves?
Carbon dating of tree trunks can tell how old a tree was when it died. Because of this, scientists can tell that the trees died between the years of 1680 and 1720. Researchers have unearthed that a huge earthquake in the northwest likely killed the ghost trees. The tsunami that resulted from the earthquake is what covered the trees in sand.
There’s been a lot of research into this petrified forest of Oregon. The scientists now believe that the massive earthquake that struck the coast did so in the year 1700. It was so severe that it dropped this section of land by as much as thirty feet!
From there, the tide came in, and drowned the trees in mud. A massively powerful wave then hit the trees, taking off their tops and leaving the stumps near the bases. As time passed, tidal mud and sand swallowed the tree stumps, preventing them from the natural oxygen and bacteria-related decay.
Because of this, the stumps were preserved until that fateful storm in 1998.
How To Visit The Neskowin Ghost Forest
You can visit this dramatic, beautiful landscape year-round. Further, it’s really easy to access. You’ll find the quiet town of Neskowin, Oregon about 15 miles north of Lincoln City on Hwy 101, at milepost 98.
Plug this link into your GPS and you’ll be good to go. There are lots of little places to stay in this adorable seaside town. Also, if you’re looking to make this a really meaningful event… there’s even a place called “proposal rock” where you can go and pop the big question on the way to viewing the forest of ghosts.