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New Trail in Newport Captivates Oregon Coast Locals, Visitors


Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.


Secrets of the Season

New Trail in Newport Captivates Oregon Coast Locals, Visitors

(Newport, Oregon) – It’s still Newport’s biggest little secret.

A new trail in the central Oregon coast resort town has started generating buzz among residents and regulars, as anticipation grows for its expansion into a much larger trail system that will stretch from the northern beaches of the town to Yaquina Bay. The as-yet-still unmarked trail may be about a year old, but it remains a kind of “new toy” for many in the area, very slowly drawing in a larger and larger crowd.

This quarter 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 developed.

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.

“It’s 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 diversion, nonetheless.

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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.

Especially now that’s 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 and forest.

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 design of Man.

Unmarked path at Agate Beach will lead to the trail

It all ends at Big Creek Park.

Protiva said this leg cost approximately $275,000. There currently is no signage, but Protiva said that will likely happen in July.

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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. “There’s been 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 about all.”


D Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River. Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players; movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com. 171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.

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Lincoln City Vacation Homes There’s something for everyone among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand – all with a low bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies, depending on the home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments. Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com. 541-994-8778.

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. Oceanfronts all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and a private deck. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms are pet friendly.523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com

Inn At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in the penthouse restaurant and bar - for a casual meal or a candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including a decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to one-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Hotel include wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and a year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive, gorgeous wedding possibilities. 4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com


STARFISH POINT is located on the Central Oregon Coast - in Newport - and offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. At Starfish Point, every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
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