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Popular N. Oregon Coast Spot Closed for Two Weeks: Cannon Beach's Ecola State Park

Published 09/10/22 at 3:55 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Popular N. Oregon Coast Spot Closed for Two Weeks: Cannon Beach's Ecola State Park

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – One of the Oregon coast's most treasured and famous parks will be closed to all visitors except long distance hikers, a closure that will last about two weeks.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) announced this week that the entrance road to Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach will be closed off from September 11 – 25, with a drilling project that will block all traffic. Vehicles and pedestrians won't be able to enter the park that route, although hikers can still get in by hiking a few miles over the Tillamook Head trail from Seaside.

Active landslides are an issue throughout the favorite north Oregon coast park, and some run through the only road going in. Heavy rains often cause one section or another to wash out each winter, or areas begin to slip and eventually collapse. The most recent washouts happened in 2020 and 2021.

OPRD will have crews drilling 150-foot holes at various points on the road, placing geotechnical survey equipment inside. This gear will be in place for the next year and a half to two years, gathering data on landslide movement.

“This study is the first of its kind done on Ecola Park Road,” said Ben Cox, Ecola State Park manager. “The data gathered will help shape long-term strategies and repair options that will hopefully ensure access to one of Oregon’s most iconic places.”

Plenty of other north Oregon coast parks are nearby and all are open. Among them: Oswald West State Park, Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site and Hug Point State Recreation Site. The best views of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse outside of Ecola State Park is at the Silver Point overlooks, just south of Cannon Beach; or walking towards Chapman Point at the very northern edges of downtown.

Ecola State Park remains open from the north to hikers, utilizing the five-mile trail over the headland that begins at the trailhead in Seaside. Parking there is limited to 13 vehicles, however. Visitors should avoid heavy equipment if they travel south beyond Indian Beach.

The estimated $55,000 drilling project will be performed under an interagency agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation that includes geology expertise and contract administration. The drilling work will be conducted by Western States Soil Conservation, Inc. of Hubbard, Oregon.

Ecola State Park has had some dramatic, even exceptionally dangerous history with landslides. See Intense History at Oregon Coast's Ecola State Park: Murder, Landslide, Explorers

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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