Oregon Coast TrailHaving lived on the Oregon Coast most of my life and being an outdoor enthusiast, I can honestly say I’ve only experienced a glimpse of the magnitude of majestic wilderness, mystery and history of the Oregon coastline. With as much time as I’ve spent in the woods, I have still only seen a small portion of what the coast has to offer.
If you’re visiting the Oregon Coast, the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) is possibly the best way to get an idea of the power, geology, geography, wonder, and serenity of beaches, forest, sand dunes, rocky cliffs, coastal mountains, and headlands in a short period of time. Sections of your hike will take you through the largest rain forest eco-region as well as some of the tallest trees on the planet.
The Oregon Coast Trail stretches 382 miles from the California border to the Columbia River. Approximately 155 miles is along inland trails and 200 miles along the beach. The trail passes through many state parks for hiker/biker camping as well as lodging opportunities. The hike will take you by shipwrecks including the Peter Iredale from 1906 near the Columbia River or a steam schooner from 1924. There’s a hull to an old ship, sticking out of the sand at Seven Devils State Park, though I’ve never heard who it belonged to or what time period.
The Oregon Coast Trail will take you through the footsteps of members of the 1804-1806 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark expedition as they found the gateway to the Pacific. Lewis and Clark spent more than 2 months in Seaside, Oregon; making salt by using a furnace made out of rock, they boiled water 24 hours a day, resulting in 28 gallons of salt. A reenactment of the salt making is held in Seaside, Oregon in August each year and is quite fascinating.
South of Port Orford, Oregon, at Humbug Mountain, this part of the trail is called the Old Highway 101 Trail. Highway 101 used to follow the Oregon coastline just east of the current highway. Long forgotten, mother nature has done an excellent job at creating a fascinating canopy of trees and ferns such as: deer fern, licorice fern, wood fern, giant chain fern, leather polypody, lady fern & western maidenhair fern. The Oregon Coast is home to many animals such as deer, elk, fox, turkey, birds, black bear, bobcat and cougar.
Here is a photo on the Oregon Coast Trail near Blacklock Point toward Port Orford, Oregon.
Going on a big adventure to experience the Oregon Coast Trail, I packed my bags and headed out with my trusty dog Sampson. Is all I can really say is; you have to experience it to see it. Of the countless photos I took, none would capture the true aspect of what I saw and experienced. Every turn was a new experience. The landscape changes from walking next to the Pacific Ocean and taking in the fresh salty air, to dense wilderness with birds everywhere.
Basalt, lava flows, sand dunes, beaches, bunkers, lighthouses, forests, wildlife, and sights, smells and noises that will shock your senses.
Below is a testimony of a first time, Oregon Coast Trail explorer.
I’ve always considered myself an outdoors person, having lived on the Oregon Coast most of my life. I have explored much of Oregon but I found this experience to be unlike any other. Planning on hiking a short section of the trail, I collected my anticipated supplies and began my hike with my longtime comrade Colleen. We began our hike on the beach at Floras Lake in Langlois, Oregon. In no time I learned how hard it is to walk on sand with a pack on my back. This made the experience quite challenging for me to endure as we spotted wildlife and passed the scenic views this trail has, to offer. One suggestion is, pay attention to the markers. We made an error of walking by a hard to spot trail marker, which wasn’t realized until hours afterward. We made camp on the beach shortly before night fell. By the time we had finished setting up camp for the night I remember thinking that I had never been this sore in my entire life. My entire body was exhausted and I could barely move in the morning. Due to our planning and lack of water we had to return from our trip early. This experience taught me preparation is key for a successful completion of our planned hike. We are planning on partaking a different section of the trail in the near, future and the moral of my story is, I will be much more physically prepared before my next trip.
Colleen Easlon Wildland Properties
Chelsea Lucas C.L. Consulting