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.