180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
New Trail Still a Novelty on Central Oregon
|After a couple of false beginnings, you'll find the trail starts
next to the stairway going up to the highway
(Newport, Oregon) - It's still Newport's biggest little
secret, even after more than two years.
A new trail in the central Oregon coast resort town debuted
in early 2006, and gradually started generating buzz among residents and
regulars. It also got anticipation growing for its expansion into a much
larger trail system that will stretch from the northern beaches of the
town to Yaquina Bay. The trail was unmarked for a long time, but it still
remains a kind of "new toy" for many in the area, very slowly
drawing in a larger and larger crowd.
mile hidden path is part of what will be called the "Ocean to Bay
Trail." It begins, rather clandestinely, at the east end of the parking
lot at Agate Beach State Park, and then meanders under thick rain forest
foliage, with pristine, freshly laid gravel covering its length. Along
the way, walkers encounter bridges over pretty little streams, more than
a couple long wooden boardwalks that snake over chasms and other geographic
features, and some untouched wetlands that will likely never, ever be
Jim Protiva, Newport’s Director of Parks and Recreation,
calls this leg of the greater trail system-to-come “a step into
the wilderness without stepping out of town.” This part goes from
Agate Beach Wayside to Big Creek Park and is phase one of the Ocean to
Bay Trail. The other stretches will be built slowly over the next few
years as money becomes available.
the opportunity to walk through wetlands without impacting them, and it’s
an out-of-the-wind activity in Newport,” Protiva said.
First, the explorer has to find the trail – and you
may initially get fooled. An unmarked paved path at the east end of the
parking lot at Agate Beach apparently wanders off into the woods. It quickly
forks to the south or north; the southern stretch takes you back across
a creek running through the wayside, and down a path which wanders below
the Agate Beach Best Western hotel, eventually taking you to the western
end of the parking lot. This is not the trail, but a pleasant and pastoral
The new trail actually begins when the paved entrance seems to disappear
into a wall of ground, where you find yourself in a tunnel that goes underneath
Highway 101. On the other side, a long stairway leads up to the other
side of the highway. But next to those steps, the trail actually starts.
winter, you’ll see through the leafless trees and into the marshes
and sopping wetlands just to the east of the trail. “Those are wetlands
so wet they’ll probably never get developed,” Protiva said.
The air here is thick with the smell of nature, marshes
For three-quarters of a mile this freshly minted trail
meanders, and you’ll soon run across one of several footbridges.
Protiva says there are three of these, about 40 feet long. Then the long
boardwalks begin, each of these around 100 feet long. The look of this
green space is primeval, maybe even slightly resembling something out
of Tolkien. The end result is pure natural stunner mixed with the nature-friendly
ingenuity and the design of Man.
said this leg cost approximately $275,000.
The second phase will be a mile-long stretch into eastern Newport that
goes from Big Creek Park to the public swimming pool. The third phase
will be from there to Newport Middle School, about a quarter mile. From
there, the fourth section will take walkers on a mile hike to a spot on
the eastern part of Highway 20. The last phase will trek a quarter mile
further until it ends at the bay.
“There is no timeline,” Protiva said. “We
will continue to expand as money is available.” He said that the
second phase will probably begin construction in the next year, however.
Currently, the trail is still a secret, although
many locals have caught on. “Originally there was no fanfare or
signage, so it’s all been by word of mouth,” Protiva said.
“Residents have caught wind of it and are using it. But that’s
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
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end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
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Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
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All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
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here for video of Dec. storm aftermath
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