Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Your 2019 Oregon Coast Trail update

View of Cascade Head from the top of the saddle at Cape Kiwanda

I think this is the third year I've assembled an update to be used with the directions I give for through-hiking the Oregon Coast Trail in my book Day Hiking: Oregon Coast. Most result from changes in the trail since the book was published. Yes, there were also a few boo-boos in the book; most were pretty minor, but when you use up all your water overnight on Tillamook Head and are expecting to fill your water bottle at Indian Point, but the toilet there is actually a vault toilet and there's no water for a couple more miles, it's kind of a bummer. Hence, this annual update.

2019 OCT route update

Also check out my 2019 campground list and boat shuttle list.

If you're reading this in April but aren't hiking until August, check back: I seem to end up updating the update once or twice a season.

What's new? In a few places the trail has just gone to hell and isn't hikeable (until it gets repaired). Many notes are about small things. I have a few new tricks for cutting your highway shoulder walking here or there.

As I've mentioned before, there is a robust effort underway to create an actionable master plan for improving the Oregon Coast Trail, mainly to create new trail that gets hikers off the highway in places where there's currently no alternative. That process started a year ago and is set to wrap up at the end of 2020. There may not be any new trail sections built by then (or there may be; in fact, I know of two places where new trail sections are supposedly being built this summer). The hope is that this process will identify the pragmatic steps that must and can be taken in key areas to eliminate most of the highway walking on the OCT. I had been hoping that it would include action toward adding developed campsites; so far I haven't seen any momentum in that direction, but I keep hoping.

I plan to be on the OCT most of June myself; maybe I'll run in to you! In any case, I hope you have a safe and fun journey this summer or whenever you hike the Oregon Coast Trail.

To cut your highway shoulder miles, look for this at about mile 315 ...
... and follow it 0.5 mile to get to this.