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More Beach Wheelchairs Available for Oregon's Tillamook Coast Region

Published 08/11/22 at 4:48 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

More Beach Wheelchairs Available for Oregon's Tillamook Coast Region

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – One of the growing hot button issues along the Oregon coast is accessibility to beach for those with mobility issues. Numerous beach towns are now doing their best to accommodate all, and the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association (TCVA) recently announced some steps forward in that regard with a total of nine beach wheelchairs that are free to use in different areas of this sizable stretch of north Oregon coast.

TCVA said the county now has more beach wheelchairs available, found through several popular towns and large state parks. These include two in Manzanita, two in Pacific City, and some available at the Port of Garibaldi, in Rockaway Beach, Nehalem Bay State, Barview Jetty County Campground and at Cape Lookout State Park.

While they are free to use, reservations are recommended during the busy months of summer. TCVA said donations are welcome to help cover maintenance costs. Go to tillamookcoast.com/mobility for reservation information.

Many of the wheelchairs are made by DeBug, which creates all-terrain beach and surf chairs using special low pressure tires that glide easily over sand, gravel and various other uneven areas. They are resistant to corrosion, using special steel and aluminum.


Manzanita, where more beach wheelchairs are available (photo copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Increased access along the Oregon coast has become a major goal with most towns in the region, with Lincoln City recently creating large mats on some beaches that allow wheelchairs of any kind to wander part of the sands. (Lincoln City Adds Beach Wheelchairs, Mobi-Mats to Central Oregon Coast) TCVA has been working on this issue for some time, and Seaside and Cannon Beach also have their special sand-traversable wheelchairs.

On top of the nine beach wheelchairs offered throughout Tillamook County, TCVA said it has three kayak launchers for those with who prefer getting into kayaks without tipping or losing balance: in Wheeler, Garibaldi and Tillamook.

Finding solutions for those with mobility issues has particular resonance with TCVA executive director Nan Devlin.

“My mother had Parkinson’s Disease, and as her mobility decreased, her ability to enjoy the outdoors also decreased,” said Devlin. “She passed away in 2006, but I would have loved to have been able to be on the beach with her in her final years, just as we did when spending our summers on the Oregon Coast as a family. We hear from people – both visitors and locals – how much it means to them to be able to enjoy being with their family and friends on the beach.”


Handicapped-accessible trail in Rockaway Beach

You can also look to Kilchis Point Reserve and the Old Growth Cedar Trail in Rockaway Beach, which now have built ADA-friendly trails. Both places accommodate regular wheelchairs, scooters, walkers and strollers.

Manzanita was among the first to provide these special vehicles, shortly after Seaside did so.

“Manzanita Visitor Center has offered beach wheelchairs for several years, but the chairs were at the end of their usability and needed replacement,” said Devlin. “We hope to make more mobility equipment available in the future, but this is a strong start.”

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