The name for Hug Point dates from the pioneer days along the Oregon Coast when stagecoaches and horse-drawn wagons were used to travel between villages. To travel between the communities of Cannon Beach and Arch Cape, wagons were driven on the beach and had to hug this particular point to avoid being caught in the surf. When the first automobiles arrived this area was too dangerous to negotiate, so around 1910, the rock was blasted with explosives and a primitive roadbed was chipped into the headland.
At about the same time, the Oregon public was getting increasingly agitated about the loss of public access to the beaches. Oswald West, the governor of Oregon from 1911 to 1915, established Oregon's beach highway law, proclaiming the entire Pacific coast to the high tide line a public highway, thereby preserving scenery and beach access for future generations. The law protecting public access to the beaches was formalized by the Oregon Legislature in 1967. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Hug Point.