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Legislation Would Close Gaps Along Oregon Coast Trail


Connie Soper, front, and Dan and Lucy Hilburn are advocates for connecting the Oregon Coast Trail.

Connie Soper, front, and Dan and Lucy Hilburn are advocates for connecting the Oregon Coast Trail.

Zach Urness/Statesman Journal

Few pathways conjure up more conflicting emotions than the Oregon Coast Trail.

One moment you’re hiking to the top of a rocky headland and looking upon a vast sweep of ocean. The next you’re risking life and limb on the shoulder of Highway 101 as cars and trucks scream past a few feet away.

The 367-mile trail, which stretches from the California state line to Astoria, brings hikers to Oregon’s most beautiful coastal viewpoints and cliff-walled beaches. But it also forces them onto one of the state’s busiest highways, sometimes for miles at a time.

“It’s an incredibly beautiful trail — the only one of its kind in the nation,” said Connie Soper, an author and expert on hiking the Oregon Coast Trail. “Unfortunately, it’s unfinished. Having to walk on the highway is dangerous, unpleasant for hikers and drivers, and really stops the trail from reaching its potential.”

Now a collection of hikers and lawmakers is hoping to change that. Legislation intended to help complete the pathway will have its first hearing Tuesday morning at the Capitol.

Read more at the Statesman Journal.

 

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