Restrictions and Closures At Some Oregon Coast Parks
(Oregon Coast) – The forces of winter often take their toll on the beaches, sometimes for good (as in the case of agates or odd discoveries) and sometimes in a bad way as some beach accesses get a little knocked around. A handful of parks are experiencing some restrictions as a result, as are two lighthouses (above: Stonefield Beach).
Sandbeach Campground at Sand Lake Recreation Area, between Pacific City and Oceanside, experienced some heavy duty storm damage in November, eroding some of the road and part of a campground. The road that accesses sites 63 through 76 washed out and is not useable. This has closed part of the loop going around the campgrounds – apparently indefinitely, until park officials can decide what to do with that section.
The rest of Sandbeach Campground is open and available to the public. http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/siuslaw, 541-750-7000.
Near Florence, the Heceta Head lighthouse is still closed due to renovations. This will continue until around 2013. Work on the parking lot and trail area closed off access to much of the park during late summer, but all that is back open.
The Cape Meares lighthouse near Oceanside is closed for the winter, until April. Then, more repairs will begin on the upper area, on the stairway and around the Fresnel lens. That area will remain closed to visitors while the downstairs area – which contain the gift shop and museum – will open back up.
It was discovered early on that vibrations from the public walking up the stairway to the lens would put the remaining piece in peril, so the upper area of the lighthouse has been closed since early 2010 and remained so since.
Stonefield Beach, also between Yachats and Florence, has part of its access parking lot closed. You'll encounter a closure sign when you head down the short road from 101 to the main parking lot, but parking is available on that access road and the beach is not closed to people.
Chris Havel, director of communications for Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, said the parking lot is often closed in winter because of storm conditions that can be dangerous at that spot.
Also closed for the season is Beachside State Park near Waldport and Newport.
“The now-regular winter fresh water flooding at Beachside makes both sides of the park (the day-use to the north, and the campground to the south) pretty unusable,” Havels aid. “You can reach this beach from Governor Patterson State Park – a nice, big parking lot there - about a mile north.”
Havel said some beach accesses or access roads may get closed during this season because of big storms. If you see a closure sign during a storm, do not go beyond it. This has resulted in some near-tragedies and lost cars in the past, such as a closure at Barview on the north Oregon coast several years ago that was not heeded and some lost their vehicles in sudden big waves.
Below: Beachside State Park
Stonefield Beach, below
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