Road Trip: Cannon Beach, Part 2, Ecola State Park

July 9, 2015

Terrible Tilly along the Oregon coast is said to be haunted
This is the second part of our trip to Cannon Beach in April. You can read part 1 here. View Kyle’s video of our trip here.

There’s no way we can go on a vacation and not explore the local hiking scene – it’s just not possible. Earlier this week I shared the first part of our trip to Cannon Beach which involved a sweet lodge and lots of good food. Today I’m sharing my favorite part, our hike in Ecola State Park just a few minutes away from Cannon Beach.

Go for a hike in Ecola State Park, Oregon

The drive took us on a small, winding road through dense rain forest. Many of the trees trunks had a larger diameter than our bedroom and towered above with curtains of moss draping from nearly every limb.

Ecola State Park outside Cannon Beach in Oregon is a great place to hike and explore.

The trees in Ecola State Park in Oregon are huge and lined with moss

The park spans along 9 miles of coast line, and is best known for being part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. We took the Indian Beach trailhead and did a 4-ish mile hike to see the Terrible Tilly Lighthouse.

The trail was still very muddy – with areas almost as deep as my hiking boot at times.  But the scenery was amazing, and everything was green. The trail climbed for a while, weaving through the coastal forest and along a ridge overlooking the ocean.

Ecola State Park in Oregon

We came across a hikers camp, complete with little cabins and a fire pit. Just past the camp is the viewpoint for “Terrible Tilly” the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.

A hikers camp in Ecola State Park


This seemingly small lighthouse was built on a rock, nearly 1-and-a-half miles off shore. It was built in the 1870s and one of the engineers lost his life on the rocks. It is one of the most weather-exposed lighthouses in the world, one storm even landed a 130+ pound rock in the kitchen.

Terrible Tilly along the Oregon coast is said to be haunted

Hike the Indian Creek Trailhead to see Terrible Tilly the lighthouse in Oregon

It was closed in 1957 due to it’s dangerous conditions and several lives lost. In the 80s it was bought and renovated to be a columbarium: a storage house for urns full of cremated human remains. That business was shut down in the 90s and today Terrible Tilly is a wildlife refuge – but many say it’s haunted due its deadly history.

Check out these articles about good ‘ole Tilly here and here.

Ecola State Park along the Oregon Coast

Needless to say, we really enjoyed our time in Cannon Beach – I can’t wait to go back!

Where are your favorite spots along the Oregon Coast? I’d love some suggestions!

– Andy

More about Andy

I'm a north-Idahoan, a WSU grad, local writer, content marketing specialist and photographer with a passion for where I live. I love the outdoors, animals, good food, wine, and time spent with my husband, family and friends.

    1. I live right down the road in Astoria and Ecola State Park is definitely one of my favorite spots on the whole coast! Glad you got to do a little hiking there. It always seems like a magical place every time I drive do that curvy road to Indian Beach.

      1. What a beautiful place to live! I can’t wait to go back and do some more exploring, the Oregon coast is a very special place.

I want to hear from you! Leave a reply.