The Big Stump

A long, sandy beach stretches away to the south of Governor Patterson Memorial State Recreation Site just south of Waldport, Oregon.  A mile or two south on the beach, you'll find what appears to be a large piece of driftwood.  Unlike most driftwood, this stands on end, looking as if it grew from the beach.  Big trees don't ordinarily grow in sand on the salty ocean's edge in North America, so it's an oddity.

A laminated card tacked to The Big Stump says it was a redwood, and it may have grown in place here, perhaps 2000 years ago.  It has endured sea level changes and shifting sands ever since.  It is two hundred miles north of the northernmost coastal redwoods alive now.  It was a landmark to the Alsea and other Native American tribes of the coast.  Early U.S. settlers called this area Big Stump Beach.

The closest beach access point is from beach access point  69  Wakonda Beach, but it has only a few parking spaces.  The Big Stump is about a quarter-mile north.  Otherwise, your best bet for access is the couple-mile walk from Governor Patterson, unless you're fine with wading across a creek.

Between March and November, one could park at Beachside State Recreation Site and walk north for about a mile on the beach.  There's a wide year-round creek crossing coming from that way.

Read more at Mike Anderson's fascinating The Big Stump site.  I've seen smaller stumps 19 miles south, at Carl G. Washburne State Park.

Other ghost forests on Oregon beaches.

Begun 2018; updated 2020.