Just a few miles north of the Big Wave Café is the hauntingly beautiful Smugglers Cove and Short Sands beach.
The Salem Statesman Journal recently published a piece on the spot’s allure to surfers. However, while the surfing there is widely acknowledged as excellent, the beach makes a fine spot for meditating, picnicking or just taking a nap in the sand.
The nearly 2,500-acre park offers paths that cross footbridges over Necarney Creek and wind through an old growth temperate rainforest, some leading to the beach and others leading to Neahkahnie Mountain or Cape Falcon.
As for the name “Smugglers Cove,” we don’t know if the smugglers were the rumored moonshiners who reportedly performed illegal booze runs in the area during Prohibition, or the “pirates” who, legend has it, buried treasure somewhere on Neahkahnie Mountain, who may have taken shelter in the cove before continuing south.
… Either way, the spot fairly crackles with a sense of the mysterious, and remains one of our favorite places in the world.
Tomorrow Manzanita will bustle with visitors and locals alike as the town celebrates the 2013 Fourth of July in its characteristic American beach town fashion.
Start your morning with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Manzanita Fire Hall, located on 5th Street, next to the basketball court. Proceeds will benefit Neahkahnie High School’s athletic programs.
The annual Manzanita Fourth of July Parade will kick off at 1 p.m. and wind along Laneda Avenue toward the beach. Look for floats, marching bands and other entrants in this colorful procession. This year’s theme is “Peace on Earth.” If you would like to enter this year’s parade, fill out an application and register at the parade staging area at Underhill Plaza, across from Manzanita Fresh Foods IGA.
At dusk, usually around 10 p.m., people will flock to the beach for the annual Manzanita Fireworks event. Licensed pyrotechnicians from Western Display Fireworks in Canby will launch the show in what is always an entertaining way to cap off the holiday.