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Neskowin Ghost Forest: See An old Forest Reappearing

Who has heard about Oregon's ghost forest that reemerged after hiding for centuries? The Neskowin Ghost Forest may be the remnants of a Sitka spruce forest around the Oregon Coast. These eerie stumps tell the story of the doomed forest destroyed and ignored thousands of years ago only to reemerge.

It is thought that the stumps are the product of a devasting earthquake across the Cascadia subduction zone that abruptly lowered the trees. The trees were then covered by mud from landslides or debris from the tsunami. The big event that destroyed the forest also helped to save the stumps by burying the remains, thus being preserved rather than eroding them away over time.

The Death, Burial, and Reemergence from the Neskowin Ghost Forest

The trees that make up the Neskowin Ghost Forest once stood 150 -200 feet (46 -61 meters) high and lots of were at least Two centuries old when they were buried. At first, researchers thought that the trees died slowly as the roots gradually submerged in saltwater as the sea levels rose, but more recent discoveries suggest that the big event was a lot more dramatic and sudden by having an earthquake to be the much more likely cause.

  • Height: The Trees Stood At 150 -200 feet (46 -61 meters) High
  • Earthquake: Likely Submerged The Forest

It is thought that the earthquake dropped the forested land into the tidal zone and so the ocean water rush in and buried the decapitated trunks in the mud.

Before the huge storm, some of the locals would watch a few of the stumps exposed during particularly harsh storms every 20 or so years. But they would always be reburied a few weeks. But the massive storms of 97/98 changed might unearthed them permanently.

These are not ancient fossil trees and could have been recognized to the Indigenous peoples inhabiting this region from the Pacific Northwest. Most of the stumps are gone 2,000 years of age.

They reemerged after having been buried for millennia throughout the winter of 1997 to 1998. In that year, turbulent storms swept away the sand covering them.

  • Age: 2,000 Years of age (According to Carbon Dating)

Location to see The Neskowin Ghost Forest

If one would want to see them, then plan to discover their whereabouts at low tide. Today (at low tide) around 100 of those ancient stumps is visible protruding from the beach. They are covered in barnacles, mussels, along with other sea life. Interestingly, the centers of a few of the particularly large stumps have been eroded off to create shallow pools for sea life who get trapped as the tide recedes.


  • Location: Near Proposal Rock In The Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site
  • When To determine Them: At Low Tide

It may also be possible to see small fish or crabs in these little pools as they wait for the tide to return in and release them back in to the ocean.

  • Proposal Rock: Named For The Turn from the Century Marriage Proposal of Charles Gage to Della Page

Proposal Rock is an island around the coast that can be reached once the tide has gone out. Once on the island, it's possible to climb the short trail to the peak. At the westernmost point, it's possible to gaze by helping cover their amazing views of the Gulf of mexico and see the Ghost Forest below.

  • Tip: Keep An Eye On The Tides While On Proposal Rock

Other Ghost Forests, Octopus Trees, and Fungi In Oregon

More Ghost Forests:

But the Neskowin Ghost Forest isn't unique – it is one of over 30 ghost forests lining the Oregon and Washington Coast. Exploring these may then add unexpected spice into a Pacific Northwest journey. A Washington ghost forest of red cedars being central to discovering the Cascadia fault line. The ghost forests are a proof of the dramatic seismic events that this region is subject to.

The Octopus Tree:

Located on the coast of the North american is one of the strangest trees in the United States and it has been described as an all natural wonder. The Octopus Tree is one of the most unusual-shaped trees in the world with no one really knows how or why it got to be by doing this.

The Octopus Tree is really a Sitka spruce tree in Tillamook County in Oregon and has long been a local attraction. The boughs of the Octopus Tree, lacking a central truck, extend horizontally as much as 30 feet before turning upward.

  • Height: 105 feet or 32 meters
  • Circumference: 46 feet or 14 meters

The Humongous Fungus Of Oregon:

The humongous fungus in Oregon is a species of pathogenic fungus (mushroom) called Armillaria ostoyae. It may be the largest living organism on earth by volume, area, and mass – a remarkable title. Still given how new these discoveries are, it is very possible that you can even find larger ones all over the world.

  • Area: 3.7 Square Miles or 2,400 Acres
  • Weight: Around 35,000 Tons (Blue Whales “Only” Weigh up to 150 Tons)
  • Age: Possibly As Old As 8,650 Years Old

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