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More Oregon Coast State Parks Reopen, But More Problems As Well

Published 08/16//20 at 6:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

More Oregon Coast State Parks Reopen, But More Problems As Well

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(Oregon Coast) – More state parks have opened up along the Oregon coast, including one very coveted area that closed earlier this year. However, a campfire ban is in place along the entire state park system’s beach areas and campgrounds due to extreme fire danger. The ban is in effect until further notice. (Above: Ecola State Park).

With the handful of new beach parks open there are some brief closures as well, but officials are reporting a rise in parking problems.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) recently released a list of new parks that have re-opened over the last two weeks, the latest of which is Ecola State Park at Cannon Beach. That extremely popular area shut down this winter due to landslide issues.

However, there are caveats.

“Expect reduced service levels, full parking lots and long lines on Ecola Park Road,” the agency said. “The Ecola Point to Indian Beach trail and the north part of the Crescent Beach trail remain closed. For your safety, please don't enter those areas. Signs are posted. Bring face coverings and be ready to wear them because it will be crowded. Also bring food, water, sunscreen, hand sanitizer and extra toilet paper. You may not get back in if you need to leave.”

Near Waldport, Beachside State Recreation Site is not opened yet, but it will around September 9. OPRD said the campsite is now taking reservations for stays starting that date. This applies to tents and RV sites only, with yurts, showers and hiker / biker camping still closed.

Down on the southern Oregon coast, Harris Beach opened recently after being shut down along with all other state parks back in March. There, park rangers had to clear much beach debris that blocked the all-access beach ramp. Winter brought many storm surges and large logs.

In the Oregon Coast Range, Stub Stewart State Park is now accepting camping reservations for its cabins, even though its summit areas were not available this summer for comet and meteor viewing.

There is some minor bad news at Cape Kiwanda and Oswald West State Park on the north Oregon coast.

The main parking lot for Cape Kiwanda as well as Bob Straub State Park will be closed for about half a day for restriping starting August 17 at 9 p.m., and then reopening early the next afternoon.

Earlier this week, at Oswald West State Park near Manzanita, OPRD warned there were no toilets for about 24 hours. The water system there became overwhelmed from use and the bathrooms were locked because no water was available for the toilets. That issue appears to have resolved, but considering how swamped that park has been this summer you may need to prepare for that possibility again.

OPRD and other state officials are warning there are considerable problems with parking illegally at all recreation areas around the state, with Oswald West being one of the major issues. If the parking lot of your chosen destination is full, you must find another area to visit. State officials are citing numerous instances of having to tow vehicles in recent weeks, as many visitors have chosen to park in areas that block emergency vehicles or are otherwise clearly marked as “no parking.”

Just a few state parks are not open at this time: Cape Blanco and Crissey Field on the southern coast; Manhattan Beach at Rockaway Beach, and Otter Crest and Rocky Creek near Depoe Bay.

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