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Action plan underway to reconnect gaps along the Oregon Coast Trail

Ecola State Park hiker.jpg
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department/Satoshi ETO
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A hiker passes along Ecola State Park on the Oregon Coast Trail.

The Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) stretches along the entire 362-mile coastline-- from Washington to California. There are some gaps along the way-- disconnected sections of trail that pose safety concerns for hikers. Now, the public is asked to provide feedback on plans to reconnect the OCT.

About half of the Oregon Coast Trail is along sandy beaches. There are overland sections across headlands, forests, rivers and even through some coastal towns.

Dianne Navarrete with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said about ten percent of the OCT has gaps.

Cape Blanco SP trailhead OPRD.jpg
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
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Parks and Rec officials expect the upcoming Action Plan will include directives for better informational signage along the 362 miles of OCT.

“People have to either walk along Highway 101 in unsafe conditions,” she said. “Or there’s just a gap– and you can not get from point A to point B– and you have to find an alternative route before you can continue on your hike.”

Parks and Rec is creating an Action Plan for reconnecting the trail and improving access for day and thru-hikers. Public comments are being gathering through an online open house on the OCT website

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is leading the planning effort to make the OCT continuous from border to border. They will work in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) and Oregon Solutions.

The Action Plan will identify gaps in the hiking experience and determine actions and funding needed to improve and maintain the trail over time. 

Navarrete said they hope to have a suite of possible solutions to present by this spring and a draft Action Plan by summer, 2022. She anticipates repairs and improvements will take years.

The OCT was approved in 1971 by the Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council and developed and managed by OPRD as part of the state park system of Oregon.

FOR MORE WAYS TO LEARN ABOUT THE OCT ACTION PLAN AND GIVE FEEDBACK:

Visit the online OPEN HOUSE at bit.ly/OCTOpenHouse1 any time now through Feb. 11 to view a presentation of the project and provide feedback.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.