Temporary Park Closures on Oregon Coast
(Florence, Oregon) – One of your favorite lighthouses will be off limits for perhaps two years starting in August, the surrounding beach access will be closed for two months, and a famous trail in the Oregon coast range will be shut down for repairs for a week in June.
The Saddle Mountain State Natural Area off Highway 26 – about 17 miles east of the 101 junction – will be closed from Monday, June 20 through June 28 for road re-paving. State officials say the park is scheduled to reopen to both overnight and day-use visitors June 29.
Crews will be repaving the entire seven miles of the entrance road that starts at Highway 26.
The park's day-use area, open all year, is the trailhead for a 2.5 mile trail to the summit of Saddle Mountain. From March-October, the park offers 10 primitive sites for tent camping.
It’s known as the most photographed lighthouse in the world, but Heceta Head will undergo some major repairs beginning August 1, which will close off the beach access and parking lot there and throughout Devil’s Elbow State Park. For eight weeks the area will be unavailable, while crews work on the west parking lot and the trail to the lighthouse – which has had erosion problems.
The US Forest Service (USFS) and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) are working together on this. The land is owned by both entities.
The east parking lot will also be shut down as crews use it as a staging area.
OPRD said erosion damage has been a constant problem there because of drainage issues in the parking lot. The trail to the lighthouse is in need of work. Crews will be installing culverts and shifting part of the trail up the hill, which should help the erosion problem.
“A new sidewalk leading to the beach will improve accessibility to the beach,” said OPRD in a press release. “New benches and interpretive signs will be added to the trail, and the trail surface at the lighthouse will be improved.”
OPRD said that while the work is expected to take four to eight weeks, weather could impede the process. They have scheduled the project during August and September – which are the notoriously driest months – but coastal weather has its own agendas.
This is only the first phase of a major renovation for the area, as more work on the lighthouse itself will happen during this time, but the lighthouse could be closed to the public as long as two years.
The trail and beach area of Devil’s Elbow should reopen by the end of September.
The Heceta Head Lighthouse dates back to 1984.
The nearby keeper’s quarters is a BnB run by a private group, and will remain open for business – although parking there will be limited.
The lighthouse is also near Yachats, while Saddle Mountain is close to Seaside and Cannon Beach.
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