Blog 7 of 77

Float your way eerily down the way to the Copalis Ghost Forest

By Cindy Stearns
Published: 10/28/19 Topics: Comments:

Eerie and hidden from view is the Copalis Ghost Forest. Travel the Hidden Coast Scenic Byway. When an earthquake hit in January 26, 1700, the ocean flooded the forest and thus, the Copalis Ghost Forest was created.

Known among researches as "the best example of a ghost forest in the world" this 9.0+ earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone lowered the level of the land. Today, 300-foot high dead spruce trees still stand along the river banks.

Native Americans and First Nations people carried the story of this storm through oral tradition. This expansive grove of ghostly red cedars, geologists Brian Atwater and David Yamaguchi discovered, was killed by a deluge of salt water.

Kwakwaka’wakw indigenous group of British Columbia along with the Japanese have been able to determine the date this ghost forest formed. The date of the tsunami is calculated via tree ring data and records in Japan where they have tracked every tsunami wave for centuries.

In Japan, a six foot wave shortly after this earthquake was recorded.

The ghost forest may only be reached by boat. It's about two miles inland from Copalis Beach.

Local expert, Buck Giles of Buck's Bikes is able to provide you with more detail and access to this ghost forest. "The Copalis River Ghost Forest is a treasure trove of natural and local history. It tells a detailed story of the power of mother nature, and shows the signs of early industry and mans attempt to gain from her resources," he said.

Copalis Ghost Forest is accessible by kayak, canoe and even paddle board, according to Giles. He conducts guided tours. Buck's Bikes is in Seabrook on the Hidden Coast Scenic Byway.

Take time for this "ghostly" visit.

Author: Cindy Stearns
Blog #: 0706 – 10/28/19

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