In the past two centuries there have been many changes at Beard's Hollow. Historically, the Chinook Indians visited the tide pools near the waters edge to collect sea life for food and shells to use as tools and decorations. When the Lewis and Clark Expedition explored this area in 1805, the ocean waves reached much further into Beards Hollow. In the early 1900's, a privately owned campground in Beard's Hollow offered access to the ocean for swimming and fishing. Later, basalt from nearby cliffs was quarried for construction materials. After the Columbia River jetties were built (1885-1915), the cove filled in and became a wetland. Washington State Parks has managed the site since 1982.
The boardwalk bridge in Beards Hollow puts you right in the middle of a freshwater wetland. This site is a great bird-watching location, from tiny hummingbirds to the broad-winged Bald Eagle. Several trails leave from the Beards Hollow parking lot:
Washington State Parks
From Beards Hollow to the North Head Lighthouse, this trail climbs 250 feet through a coastal rainforst. 1.0 mile one-way
This is a popular mid-way parking area for the hiking/biking trail that connects Ilwaco to Long Beach. Just park and go either direction, but have a map, a third paved trail leaves from here too going south into the park.
Follow the paved trail to the west (not the bridge). At the first sandy left turn, follow a dune trail out to the beach. Now take the beach south a few minutes walk to the massive cliffs and tide pools. You can also drive here on the beach from Seaview. Find an interesting mix of people and raw nature and you're bound to be entertained. This spot is truly one of Washington's secret best kept secrets for many families.
Beach Trail to North Head Cliffs
Beards Hollow from Overlook
Beards Hollow Trailhead
Beards Hollow Trailhead trail to beach
Walking where the ocean recently came in
Beards Hollow Beach Parking
Rocks around Beards Hollow
Strange to know that only recently waves crashed against this sea stack