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S. Oregon Coast Hiking Event Includes Work Party Atop Rugged Humbug Mountain

Published 01/05/23 at 12:29 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

S. Oregon Coast Hiking Event Includes Work Party Atop Rugged Humbug Mountain

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(Port Orford, Oregon) – Looking for an extra strenuous hike along the Oregon coast? Is the towering height of Humbug Mountain near Port Orford not enough? (Photo courtesy Trail Keepers of Oregon)

How would you like to help keep that soaring trail in a natural state – but one that's still traversable by hikers?

One Oregon hiking group is doing just that with the Humbug Mountain Trail Party taking place on January 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's part serious jaunt on foot and part work-your-buns-off, where you and others do some brush clearing along the major loop path on this stunning structure. It's all free, but you can help by making a donation to Trail Keepers of Oregon (TKO), the group which runs these events. You can also buy your own hardhat through the TKO site.

And yes, there are more like these events.

Flying a ways below the publicity radar, this Oregon group has been working hard at restoring regional trails or simply their upkeep, all with the use of volunteers. They combine a sense of fun and adventure with work parties, often in fairly remote locations, doing a lot of good without much recognition.

TKO is a 15-year-old volunteer organization that has been a bit like CoastWatch – which keeps an eye on Oregon coast beaches - but this group works on trails all around the state. They state their mission as “Inspiring action for the protection and enhancement of the Oregon hiking experience through advocacy, stewardship, outreach and education.”

Along the Humbug Mountain Trail
Photo courtesy Oregon Department of Forestry

The group puts together numerous events to that end, and there are some big ones for the south Oregon coast this month. Among the largest is the Humbug Mountain Trail Party.

So what's a trail party? Think of hiking with a purpose. They could use some help – if you're already familiar with the area.

It's where folks interested in hiking and preserving these trails get together, go on a sizable hike, and do some brush clearing. These bring together people's passions for hiking, enabling them to do just that, and an opportunity for the trails to get some restoration or maintenance done. In this case, it's Humbug Mountain near Port Orford.

Photo courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

For this Humbug Mountain Trail Party, it's not for the light hiker, however.

“This party involves a steep and strenuous hike over rough terrain,” the group said on its website. “For this trail party we will brush out the trails along the Humbug Mountain loop trail.

There will be plenty of astounding views, but TKO said don't sign up for this until you have actually hiked to the top of Humbug Mountain yourself. This is to ensure you are in your comfort zone and know your own abilities.

The hike will be a distance of six miles, an elevation gain of 1500 feet, and it's considered a hard trail. The crew will max out at 10 participants, and is led by South Coast Stewardship Coordinator Trevor Bradford.

TKO also said if you're going to do this, plan to participate through the entire work day. For safety reasons, they say you cannot arrive late or expect to leave early.

The group said it had some 20 such events throughout 2022, which took down brush and other vegetation that had been encroaching on trails in the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor.

They also host work parties for the Boardman area every Wednesday.

You can see more at their events page. (971) 206-4351.

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Photos courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

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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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