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Latest Oregon Coast: Star Party, Lighthouse Closure, Scenic Bikeways

Published 06/15/2018 at 5:52 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

(Oregon Coast) – Three developments regarding the Oregon coast will be of interest to those who enjoy the region. A Star Party will be held tomorrow in honor of summer, a favorite lighthouse is shutting down briefly, and state officials are looking for feedback on scenic bikeways around the state.

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Part of this happens in the Oregon Coast Range and part of it in the Gorge. Tomorrow night, on Saturday, June 16, OMSI and Rose City Astronomers will celebrate the beginning of summer with a free Star Party. Join the stargazing in-crowd at Rooster Rock State Park and L.L. Stub Stewart State Park starting at sunset - weather permitting.

From beginners to experts of all ages, this is your opportunity to view the stars and other celestial objects up close and personal through telescope and binoculars. Viewing highlights include Mercury, Venus, waxing crescent moon, Jupiter, Saturn and much more.

Rooster Rock State Park is located 22 miles east of Portland on I-84 just east of Sandy River at exit 25. To reach L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park, take US-26 west of Portland and turn right on OR-47. The event starts at sunset and is free with $5 parking per vehicle. Warm clothing and a flashlight with red light are recommended. Personal telescopes and binoculars are welcome.

On the scheduled day of each OMSI Star Parties, it is suggested that interested visitors check back here for possible weather-related cancellations.

On the downside, a favorite Oregon coast attraction will be temporarily closed this summer. Visitor access to the interior of Heceta Head Lighthouse will be cut off starting July 1 for repairs. The work, which is expected to be finished by July 31, will repair several cracked interior metal columns on the upper floor of the lighthouse. The lighthouse lens will be covered and the light will be temporarily out of service to protect the lens during the renovation work. The grounds surrounding the lighthouse will remain open and visitors may walk up to the lighthouse during the closure, but not enter the building. Interpretive programs will be conducted on the grounds surrounding the lighthouse.

The project will cost an estimated $135,000. Most of the funds - $75,000 - were donated by park visitors. The remaining $60,000 is funded with Oregon Lottery dollars dedicated by voters to park repairs and improvements.

The historic assistant lighthouse keeper’s house, which the U.S. Forest Service operates through a concessionaire as a B&B, will remain open (hecetalighthouse.com).

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is soliciting public input on the 17 Oregon Scenic Bikeways. Individuals that have ridden any of the bikeways are encouraged to share their experiences via a short online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PHPCFFL

OPRD will use the survey results to guide bikeway improvement plans. The Oregon Scenic Bikeways Program was started in 2009 and is overseen by OPRD.

Information about the 17 designated Scenic Bikeways - printable maps, GPS and route descriptions - is online at www.oregonscenicbikeways.org. Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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