Rocky’s Trails–The Oregon Coast Trail (2010)
Been hiking on a coastal state park trail lately? How about a long walk on the beach?
State Recreation Trails Coordinator Rocky Houston is certain millions of Oregon coast visitors have taken at least a short hike on the OCT. It would be hard not to. The trail winds 382 miles between Fort Stevens State Park at the mouth of the Columbia River and Crissey Field State Recreation Site on the Oregon-California border. That mileage includes 100 miles winding through forests, over headlands and within 36 state parks along the coast.
The OCT also includes about 200 miles of beaches and 82 miles of walking space along roads and highways. “We have some gaps where you have to walk on roadsides,” says Rocky. “We are trying to close as many as possible as quickly as we can.”
A trail segment on Heceta Head was restored, and Amanda’s Trail near Yachats was extended in the most recent efforts to plug gaps. A new stretch of trail is now being built from Bastendorff Beach to Sunset Bay State Park west of Coos Bay. Construction of two miles of new trail is planned in Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint south of Cape Perpetua.
More than 200 accesses make getting on the OCT easy. If you have time for a 30-day hike, you can cover the OCT’s distance in one shot. The entire trail is mapped in 10 segments. Visit the Oregon Coast Trail Maps website to view or print the maps.
Most hikers try day hikes of various lengths. Rocky suggests these sections.
- Ecola Point to Indian Beach, Ecola State Park – Between the Ecola Point parking area and Indian Beach on the south side of Tillamook Head. See a remarkable forested landscape shaped by coastal winds, landslides, violent storms, earthquakes and fire. 2.5 miles
- Cape Falcon Trailhead to Neahkanie Mountain summit, Oswald West State Park – Follow a corridor through dense forest, cross a suspension bridge and climb to a breathtaking viewpoint atop Neahkanie Mointain. 5.9 miles.
- Cape Perpetua to Yachats – Enjoy exceptional views of coastline and forest along three segments—the St. Perpetua, Whispering Spruce and Amanda’s trails—between the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center and Yachats. 4 miles.
- Sunset Bay to Cape Arago– Starting in the Sunset Bay State Park day-use area parking area, follow the trail south to bluff edge views of the Cape Arago Lighthouse before crossing the Shore Acres State Park garden enroute to more shoreline viewpoints and Cape Arago. 3.5 miles.
- Cape Ferrelo to Whaleshead Beach, Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor – Between the Lone Ranch parking area on the north side of the cape’s grassy slope and the Whaleshead picnic area on its south side, you have a commanding view of the jagged coastline and chance to walk through a stand of old-growth Sitka spruce. 3.25 miles.
Can’t beat Oswald West State Park for a walk on Oregon coast – The Oregonian