When I first heard about efforts to create a through-hike trail that would start just west of Corvallis and end at the coast south of Newport, it was still under construction. I immediately signed up to be part of a group that helped to clear one of the sections and get the trail finished and open to the public.
One of the others in my group was a 60-something-year-old woman named Ginger who handled a full-size chain saw like it was a set of hedge clippers, hiked like a teenager and of whom I was completely in awe.
The roughly 60-mile “C2C” trail has been completed in three "phases" and the first two are already open to hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers.
A large part of the trail is on decommissioned forest logging roads.
“The fact that you can do this journey is pretty special,” Gary Chapman said, who chairs the group that’s been working to bring the trail to fruition since 2003.
“It’s very interesting to see the changes as you start in the urban area, move through the suburban, and then get into almost wilderness. Once you near the coast, you can actually hear the sound of the mill and the trains in Toledo from 4 to 5 miles away, then feel and smell the ocean even before you can see it.”
Toledo resident Jim Golden got involved with the trail project to find new places to hike and run, usually with his dog. He attributes the trail's unique characteristics to the fact that the Forest Service owns a great deal of the land the path travels through.
“It’s different than a walk on something like the PCT,” he said. (The Pacific Crest Trail extends from the Mexican border to Canada, going through central California, Oregon and Washington.) “Most of this is a green tunnel because you are going through very tall stands of timber. There are many flowers too during certain times of the year, though it’s not like going through an alpine meadow. But it’s not dry and dusty like some places – all year it’s pretty green.”
The final phase of the trail is now within a fir tree's branch of being opened, and you can be one of the people to put the finishing touches on this far western section by showing up for a trail workday on Wednesday, August 28, or Saturday, August 31. If you’d like to be part of this historic trail, email CorvallisToTheSea@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups will meet in the Philomath area for eastern residents; coastal residents meet at the Toledo Dairy Queen – email the workday organizers for additional details. More information, trail maps and planned hikes are available the website.
The C2C website has maps of the trail broken into three sections for easier viewing.
I love taking Scout to the C2C trail because the wide sections are ideal for mountain biking with a dog. I'm definitely attending Wednesday's trail workday to make sure I can take credit for the grand opening of this cool way to reach the coast by foot, bike or horse.
Are you a fan of long walks? We love getting your comments and stories, so feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. For other things to do on the Central Coast even if you didn't arrive on foot, check out our Daytime Events calendar. For evening entertainment our Nightlife page steers you to the top happenings on the Central Coast.