Popular Wind Surfing Location
I can not tell you too much about the qualities of the southern tip of the Ocean Shores peninsula when it comes to wind surfing. While it certainly looks like fun I have never learned to wind surf.
However, Ocean Shores and Damon Point State Park certainly are popular locations for doing this at certain times of the year.
I would suggest further research on your own, but at times I have seen some 20 or so wind surfers on the small, sheltered cove just north of Damon Point.
Sheltered? Yes! You see, the Oregon and Washington coast receive so much wind that if wind surfers didn't seek out a sheltered place, they would likely wind up somewhere in Colorado. Even the sheltered cove provides more than adequate wind for wind surfing - and a less violent wave action to fight with.
Photo 1 shows one of many wind surfers on this little cove.
Photo 2 shows the non-sheltered side of Damon Point, which has fairly rough wind and waves even after the water passes through the break water. This part of the Pacific Ocean is not calm!
This is the last remaining native-style forest on the Ocean Park peninsula. As the peninsula was logged in the early 1900s, there are no real old growth trees here, or anywhere else on the peninsula. However, what is here is preserved second growth, with a huge effort put in to maintaining native plants and undergrowth so that while the trees may not be old, the type of forest is typical of the ecosystem that would have been found here as a native ecosystem.
The eastern edge of the park land borders the body of water known as "Duck Lake", which is part of the artificial canal system dug into the peninsula when it started being developed as a resort community in the 1960s.
There was a bench next to one of the trails, but otherwise there did not seem to be any other such facilities anywhere in the park. It appeared to be a memorial bench, based on the engraved plaque on the bench, and possibly as time goes on more such benches will be added to the forest.
The forest area is only 121 acres (49 hectares), so the property really isn't extremely extensive. However, it is unique in its preservation of a native part of the peninsula's ecosystem.
There are several trails through the park, the main section of which is along a power line corridor. Other trails are narrow dirt pathways through the dense forest.
There are no restroom facilities in this park.
During a March 26, 2011 visit, I saw several rufus hummingbirds, a spotted towhee or two, and several other birds reasonably common in back yards of the northwest. However, migration season may bring a wider variety through the park.
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
Damon Point State Park
DANGER: This state park consists of a sand peninsula heading into Gray's Harbor. It is important to note that during the highest of high tides, much of the peninsula gets cut off from the mainland. Please take a tide table and know when it is time to head back to shore!
Note that the picnic table in the photograph is not on state park property. Instead, this picnic table is actually on the dry camp area of the campground owned and operated by the Quinault Indian Tribe. It is best not to use these facilities unless you are camping here.
It is certainly not your typical state park. It is a beach only, with no real facilities of any sort. While the public is allowed on the wet sand area of the beach, a considerable portion of Damon Point is set aside as nesting habitat for the snowy plover. Huge developments along the coast of Oregon and Washington have eliminated a considerable portion of the sand dunes that are critical nesting habitat for these birds, and thus the need for conservation of this area - which is one of the few on this peninsula that still has reasonably intact sand dunes for nesting of the birds.
However, it is a state park rather than a wildlife conservation area, and as such there is a lot of human traffic along the beach, including a lot of dog walking, kite flying, and various other activities. Therefore, I am not convinced that bird watchers are that likely to see any snowy plovers here, even though it is regarded as a "known nesting area" for the snowy plover.
Other than the grass and gravel area along the road, there isn't any parking here.
The nearest restrooms are at the campground operated by the Quinault Indian Tribe. However, those are not public restrooms, and are not for use by those other than marina and campground users.
The park is day use only, and open 8 to 5 all year.
Ocean Shores Interpretive Center and Museum
This small museum, interpretive center and tourist information center is quite good for a city of this size, and has quite a lot of local information, both for the city and for the surrounding area. Included in the collection here are various animal and bird specimens, including pieces of whale skeleton, and some other impressive finds.
If you find yourself tiring of the rain as you drive up or down the Olympic National Park loop, you may want to stop in here for a little bit of local information. It does take some time to get all the way out to the end of the peninsula where the interpretive center is located, but it may be worth a trip if you want to find out a bit more about the region.
During the winter months (October 1 to March 31), the center is open Saturday and Sunday only, while during the summer months April 1 to September 31) it is open daily.
As of now, the admission to the interpretive center is free of charge, as its operation is funded by the city of Ocean Shores.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Boating and Kyaking
Ocean Shores has 25 miles of freshwater lakes and canals. Duck Lake is the largest segment, and it adjoins the Grand Canal at the south end.
A power boat launch and dock is available at North Bay Park. Hand launching for kyaks and canoes is available at parks throughout the city.
Please respect the speed limit and the property rights of lake front homeowners.
- Water Sports
- Sailing and Boating
- Gay and Lesbian
Quinalt Beach Resort and Casino
This is only a five minute drive from Ocean Shores. Or, about a 45 minute walk north along the beach. Probably the best Indian casino in Washington state. It includes a hotel, restaurant, Sushi Bar, convention center, spa, gift shop, two lounges and (of course) a casino.
The slots are pretty loose here. I never play table games, but there are plenty of them. Occasionally, the resort hosts some well known singers - especially country western.
- Spa and Resort
- Casino and Gambling
- Gay and Lesbian
Drive on the beach at Ocean...
Drive on the beach at Ocean Shores
There is a designated state highway along the beach in Ocean Shores. Parts of it are closed off when conditions are not ideal. There's nothing like driving on the beach (until you get stuck!).
One of the most popular...
One of the most popular and fun activities to do on the beach in Ocean Shores is flying kites. There is a great shop with a huge variety of kites, windsocks, beach toys and much much more. Enjoy the Ocean Shores International Kite Challenge, one of Washington's largest kite festivals featuring stunt kite competitions, displays, fun fly's, free kite flying lessons, merchants, beach vendors and more. June 2nd, 3rd and 4th
Horseback Riding.....Available on the beach as well as trail rides. A very popular activity for non-riders as well as the pros. Available year round, but call to make sure. Chenois Creek Horse Rentals (360) 533-5591. Biking...Ocean Shores, with 120 miles of roads, offers excellent biking with very little elevation change (Ocean Shores is virtually flat), and with numerous bike trails. There are marked bike routes, and some of the best and most scenic are on the bay side of Ocean Shores. With more roads than many large cities, you'll want to take a map with you
Nan-Sea Stables (360) 289-0194
Rising Star Ranch (360) 580-1845
Henoy Pearl (360) 538-1504, or visit www.cowboygalaxy.com
l to make sure.